Jack Crawford Taylor
April 14, 1922 – July 2, 2016
We will always remember in gratitude Jack C. Taylor, whose contributions to the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center will be seen and felt for as long as the Center stands.
Jack was a visionary entrepreneur, a tireless advocate for the St. Louis region, and a leading philanthropist, including as a generous supporter of the Danforth Plant Science Center. As the founder, and long-time CEO and board chairman of Enterprise Rent-A-Car, his commitment to customer service and quality made the company the global leader in the car rental industry. Jack’s achievements in business were matched by a dedication to his country and his home community. He was a decorated Navy fighter pilot in World War II and, in 2001 he and his son Andy were named St. Louis Citizens of the Year in recognition of the substantial support that Enterprise and the Taylor family have provided to institutions throughout the region.
The Danforth Center is among the many beneficiaries of their generosity. Jack and the Taylor family have donated over $47 million to the Danforth Center, part of which helped establish the Enterprise Rent-A-Car Institute for Renewable Fuels. The institute is a crucial part of the Center’s efforts to preserve and renew the environment through development of improved sources of renewable fuels. Funding from the Taylor investments has enabled us to build great facilities, hire world-class scientific leaders such as Tom Brutnell (Institute Director) and Jim Umen, and invest in high-risk but high impact scientific research. Our achievements in renewable energy and other areas are made possible, in large part, by the Taylor family’s generosity. Quite simply, the Danforth Center would not be where it is today without their foresight and enthusiasm, and their commitment to environmental sustainability.
Jack was full of wit, humor, and compassion for others. He cared, he shared, and he made a difference in the lives of so many people. He was a unique member of The Greatest Generation. Jack Taylor, an individual who exemplified the American spirit, passed away on July 2, 2016. We will miss him, and we will always remember his commitment to St. Louis and to the world.