Biographical Information:
Dates: 1912 -1998Dates in Ridgefield: 1950s -1960s
fiction, nonfiction, journalismcolumnist, biographer, Pulitzer Prize recipient
Robert Lewis Taylor was one of two Pulitzer Prize-winning writers to have lived in Ridgefield, and he was reportedly almost as conservative as the other columnist, Westbrook Pegler. But his ways and eccentricities often surprised those who knew him. Mr. Taylor won the Pulitzer for The Travels of Jaimie McPheeters, a 1958 novel about a 14-year-old boy and his father who trekked West during the Gold Rush. It became the basis for a 1960 TV series of the same name, starring nine-year-old Kurt Russell. The Illinois native got his start in newspapers, but eventually joined The New Yorker–working there from 1939 to 1961–where he was noted for his witty profiles and biographical sketches. He wrote for many other magazines and produced nearly a dozen novels and biographies before his death in 1998. Mr. Taylor, who lived on Old Branchville Road in the 1950s and 60s, once told an interviewer that he enjoyed serving in the Navy during World War II. But by the time of the Vietnam War, he confessed he was glad his son did not serve. “I hate our senseless wars and the politicians who get us into them,” he said. “If I had my way, politicians would be against the law.”
Titles (partial): Winston Churchill: An Informal Study of Greatness, 1952The Travels of Jaimie McPheeters, 1958Two Roads to Guadalupe, 1964A Journey to Matecumbe, 1967W.C. Fields: His Follies and Fortunes, 1978
--Sources: Notable Ridgefielders–Jack Sanders; New York Times obit, October 4, 1998; Wikipedia
Check the library catalog for titles by this author.