Herb Taylor

Tuesday, March 23, 2004

Herb Taylor passed away peacefully at his Cape Girardeau home Friday, March 19, 2004.

An accomplished author, professor, poet, philosopher and performer, Mr. Taylor's professional career spanned 50 years involvement in media and education.

Herb was preceded in death by his wife, Peggy, and son, Mark.

Surviving family members include daughters Lydia and Sylvia, and his youngest son, Adam. Mr. Taylor is also survived by six grandchildren and his brother, George.

A recognized stage talent in college, Herb's transition into television was natural, and he was involved with the very earliest television broadcasts in the state of Minnesota. In fact, at age 23 Herb wrote and hosted no less than three hours of live television every weekday. His talent for the then new medium was so evident in fact, that during their first meeting Walter Cronkite asked Herb to move to New York and "help us define the future of television."

An intellectual, Mr. Taylor's talents eventually led him to higher education, where he served as personal assistant to several college presidents.

A lifelong student of media, Herb corresponded with Marshall McCluhan and was asked to appear in front of the United States Senate to provide an opinion regarding the impact of cable television in America. Mr. Taylor is credited as being one of the earliest advocates of local access television and with his longtime associate Fred Wyman, started one of the nation's first all-community access television stations.

The Taylor family relocated to Cape Girardeau in 1975 when Dr. Robert Leestamper became president of Southeast Missouri State University. Mr. Taylor secured the broadcast license for KRCU and together with Fred Wyman launched the radio and television programs at Southeast.

While at Southeast from 1975 to 1990, and in addition to running the radio station, Herb taught numerous classes including Intro to Broadcasting and Radio Practicum. At an event to recognize Mr. Taylor's retirement in 1990 no less than 100 radio and television professionals attended to credit him with having a significant and permanent impact on their careers and lives.

In 1980 Herb founded (and named) Red Letter Communications with former students Clint Hasse, Scott Reece and Jim Riley. Mr. Taylor provided creative direction for the agency during the early years, served as chief copywriter from 1990 to 1995, and was creative director emeritus at the time of his death. (Recently named Small Business of the Year, Red Letter has grown into a multimillion-dollar firm serving national clients, including Stihl Outdoor Power Equipment.)

After retiring from daily work in media and advertising, Mr. Taylor turned his considerable writing skills and life long love of literature and prose to the creation of original poetry. Writing under the pseudonym of "HT Clancy," Herb's subjects included numerous works dedicated to the Blessed Virgin, the wonder of creation, observations on the human condition, female beauty, and on the death experience.

Mr. Taylor spent the final years of his life contemplating the harmony of science and religion. His 45-year interest and study of spiritual teachings had led him to the personal certitude of the existence of God, and to the conclusion that the real purpose of each individual life was to come to know and love God.

Friends may call at Ford and Sons Sprigg Street Funeral Home from 6 to 9 p.m. today.

The funeral will be at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday at the funeral home. Burial will be in Fairmount Cemetery.

The family respectfully requests any and all memorials come in the form of financial contributions to Herbert H. and J. Margaret Taylor Revocable Trust, P.O. Box 819, Cape Girardeau, Mo. 63701 (to support their beloved son, Adam A. Taylor.)