Manuscripts/Mixed Material Interview with Lawrence P. Taylor
The Association for Diplomatic Studies and Training Foreign Affairs Oral History Project
AMBASSADOR LAWRENCE P. TAYLOR
Interviewed by: Charles Stuart Kennedy
Initial interview date: April 10, 1998
Copyright 2000 ADST
Q: Today is the 10th of April 1998. This is an interview with Ambassador Lawrence P. Taylor and it's being done on behalf of the Association for Diplomatic Studies, and I'm Charles Stuart Kennedy. Larry, let's start at the beginning. When and where were you born?
TAYLOR: I was born in Cleveland, Ohio, in 1940.
Q: Can you tell me something about your family, what your parents' occupations were and then something about your early years in Cleveland, if you grew up and started in Cleveland?
TAYLOR: I did start in Cleveland. My parents were both from Illinois. My dad graduated from the University of Michigan. My mother from the University of Chicago. My dad was research chemist. Despite her education, my mother was a classical housewife of the day. I think one of the distinguishing things was that my dad came from some background that was extremely successful and even wealthy, until the great depression hit.
Q: Yes, 1929.
SPROTT: 1929, and this was the jumping-out-of-windows era, and his family, although not literally, figuratively jumped out of a window, and five children in that family, instead of being in a situation of means, then found themselves working four at a time, each to send the odd one, the fifth one, through college. And so they bootstrapped all five through college, and my dad landed a job with Union Carbide as a research chemist.
Q: So how long did you live in Cleveland?
TAYLOR: Right, we lived in Cleveland really only through the early years of grade school, and then we moved to Pittsburgh and stayed in Pittsburgh until my sophomore year in high school and then moved back to Cleveland.