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Jim Taylor was born in 1946 at Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston, Maine, to James Horace Taylor and Martha Louise Taylor Nichols. His parents divorced when he was three years old, and he and his mother lived in both Auburn and Lewiston; his mother worked as assistant to the registrar and subsequently as the registrar at Bates College. He graduated from Lewiston High School, spent a year at Maine Central Institute, and another year at the University of Maine at Orono. He enlisted in the Marine Corps, and served from 1966 to 1968, including thirteen months as a machine gunner in Vietnam. Upon returning from Vietnam, Taylor worked briefly at the Bates Mill in Lewiston, as well as for a sprinkler installation company and at Bath Iron Works. He then worked for nineteen years as a teacher’s aide in the Lewiston public schools, and as a football coach at Lewiston High School and later at Bates College.
He also discusses growing up African American in Lewiston, the Ali-Liston fight in 1965, the Ku Klux Klan presence in Androscoggin County, and his experiences in the segregated South when he was in the Marines.
Central Maine Medical Center, Lewiston, Marine Corps, 1946, Bates College, Lewiston High School, Maine Central Institute, University of Maine at Orono, Lewiston Middle School, Bath Iron Works, Cherry Point, Vietnam War, Bates Mill, football, Sonny Liston, Muhammad Ali, John Jenkins, Henry Santos, Ku Klux Klan, Many and One rally, segregation
Lee, Maureen Elgersman, "Taylor, Jim" (2003). Home Is Where I Make It Oral History Project. 13.