William Baxter Taylor, a 54-year resident of Darien and Rowayton, Conn., died peacefully Friday afternoon, October 16, at home. He was 86.
Bill, as he was always known, was born in Los Angeles on November 18, 1928 to Matthew Ambrose and Marion Agnes (Baxter) Taylor. The family soon moved to Rye, NY where he graduated from Rye High School in 1946. In 1950 he graduated from Colgate University with a bachelor’s in English.
After two years in the army in Georgia and Tennessee, he began a long career in advertising. Starting in the mailroom at the New York office of Young & Rubicam, he was soon promoted to copywriter. In 1966, he joined Ogilvy & Mather as a creative director.
In 1971 he took a leave of absence from Ogilvy to become creative director for the November Group, the in-house agency for Richard Nixon’s re-election campaign.
In 1977 he was appointed creative director of Ogilvy’s London office. He often referred to the five years the family lived in England as among the most enjoyable of his life.
During his career he wrote hundreds of commercials and print ads. He spearheaded creative work on campaigns for American Express, General Foods, Hershey Chocolate, Pontiac, Firestone, Cunard Line and many others.
He was best known for the long-running “Do You Know Me?” commercials for American Express. The campaign received numerous ad industry awards.
Bill enjoyed skiing, tennis, and golf. He was a regular presence on the tennis courts at the Middlesex Club. After many years of trying (and with the #1 seed out of town), he won the men’s singles title, a triumph that never went to his head.
In addition, he was an enthusiastic sports fan who never missed a Mets, Giants or Rangers game if he could help it.
Most of all, he enjoyed spending time with his family and his poorly trained and devoted dogs. He especially enjoyed the annual family vacations to Bromley Mountain and Nantucket.
Bill was pre-deceased by his wife of 43 years, Margery Ann (better known as Midge), and his two sisters, Patricia Stigdon and Jean Schubert. He is survived by his four children, Baxter of Brooklyn, NY, Barnaby of Rowayton, CT, Amy of New York, NY, and Remy and her husband John Burke of Fair Haven, NJ. Also by two grandchildren, Taylor and Davis of Fair Haven.
Family and friends will be gathering at The Goose in Darien between 2pm and 4pm on Saturday, October 24. All are welcome.