Obituary: Russel Taylor


Dr. Russel R. Taylor passed on May 21, 2019 at the age 101. Canadian born, Taylor came to the United States in 1938, fresh out of the University of Toronto. During World War II, he returned to Canada and served as a Lieutenant Commander in the Canadian Navy. At war’s end, he returned to the United States. He began working in the fur industry, and while doing so, was struck by the importance of the anti-fur movement. He began a company making what he referred to as “luxurious simulated furs.” Taylor soon became an industry leader in the fake fur market, with headline ads such as, “Looks more like fur than fur itself” and “It’s not fake anything – It’s a real Russel Taylor.”

In 1970 his company was acquired by Sara Lee Corp. and Taylor decided to pursue a career in education. He earned a doctorate in Business Administration, entered the world of academia, including re-organizing a business department at the College of New Rochelle and becoming a faculty member. Taylor described educating students as the most rewarding work he had ever done. Taylor remained a faculty member for many years, teaching classes until the age of 95 and getting glowing remarks from the students that he taught. Taylor was an accomplished author of the book “Exceptional Entrepreneurial Women” and also created The Russel R. Taylor Foundation, which has provided study-abroad scholarships to more than 300 economically disadvantaged students and has substantially supported the Breast Cancer Alliance in Greenwich, CT. Taylor served as an active Trustee of the American Institute for Foreign Studies Foundation in Stamford, CT and also Richmond The American International University in London, where he received a Doctor of Humane Letters.

A longtime resident of Greenwich, CT, he was a member of the Greenwich Country Club and an avid golfer, playing 9 holes of golf just this past Sunday with his long-time friend and loving companion, Dr. Rose Marie Hurrell.

He is survived by his daughter, Deborah Reid Taylor, his three grandchildren and his eight great-grandchildren. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Russel R. Taylor Foundation, 31 Indian Point Lane, Riverside, CT 06878.

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