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Edward C. Taylor, Jr

Edward C. Taylor, Jr

August 8, 1923 - November 22, 2017

Scholar, inventor, and teacher Edward (Ted) Curtis Taylor, Jr. died at home in St. Paul, Minnesota on November 22, 2017 at the age of 94. Prof. Edward C. Taylor was born in Springfield, Massachusetts, on August 3, 1923. He attended Hamilton College and graduated from Cornell University, where he earned both his B.A. (1946) and his Ph.D. (1949). He was a Merck Postdoctoral Fellow (1949-50) of the National Academy of Sciences in Zürich, Switzerland, and then the du Pont Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Illinois (1950-51). He joined the faculty at the University of Illinois in 1951, and moved to Princeton University in 1954, where he worked as a senior research chemist and professor.

Ted was one of the foremost heterocyclic and medicinal chemists in the world. Through his achievements in chemical research at The University of Illinois and Princeton University, he demonstrated the power of imaginative planning in heterocyclic synthesis. Ted's seminal contributions to the field of heterocyclic chemistry opened new avenues of investigation for chemical synthesis and studies of the therapeutic potential of hundreds of new classes of organic compounds. His investigations of anti-folate compounds led to the development of the first drug ever approved for the treatment of mesothelioma. Alimta, developed with Eli Lilly Corporation, has prolonged the lives of countless cancer patients. Ted has been honored with Fulbright, Guggenheim, and Alexander Von Humboldt awards, the Thomas Alva Edison Award for Invention, the National Academy of Sciences Award for Chemistry in Service to Society, the Heroes of Chemistry award, and many others. Ted was awarded honorary degrees from Princeton University, Hamilton College and the University of Illinois. To further honor Ted’s achievements, Hamilton College named its new science building The Edward and Virginia Taylor Science Center, and Princeton’s new Frick Chemistry Laboratory includes the Edward C. Taylor Auditorium and Taylor Commons.

Ted lived in Princeton, New Jersey for the majority of his life and loved spending summers in Vermont on the family farm with his wife Virginia (Ginnie). After Ginnie’s death in 2014, Ted moved to St. Paul, Minnesota where he enjoyed being with his children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren. Ted was an avid golfer and vegetable gardener, and stayed active by going to the gym three times a week. He also studied German at the Germanic American Institute in St. Paul and attended German immersion camp at the Concordia Language Village during his summers in Minnesota. Most of all, he loved being with his family and being part of his great-grandchildren's lives.

Ted is preceded in death by his parents Edward and Margaret Taylor, his sister Jean Anderson, and his wife of 68 years, Virginia Crouse Taylor. He is survived by his son Ned Taylor (Connie) and daughter Susan Spielman (Rick); grandchildren Anna, Ranger, Thane, Kate, Emilie, Maren, Lindsay, Molly, and Marc; great-grandchildren Oscar, Paloma, Penelope, Ajax, Anja, Lucy, Elizabeth, Charles, Kristina, Grant, Sofia, Faith, Elsa, Grace, Micah, James, Clara, Willa, Lachlan, and Kelly; nephews Curt, Jon, and Chris; and nieces Elizabeth and Martha.

Ted was the best friend of everyone who met him and will be missed by all. A memorial service will be held on Saturday, December 9, 2017 at Central Presbyterian Church of St. Paul (500 Cedar St. N., St. Paul MN 55101) at 3:00 p.m. Reception to follow.

In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred to the Thompson Senior Center, 99 Senior Lane, Woodstock VT 05091.