Taylor, Brooke S.
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Brooke S. Taylor November 21, 1918 - March 22, 2013
Brooke S. Taylor (Frank Smith) died peacefully at 8:48 AM on Friday, March 22, 2013 in Walnut Creek, CA. He was 94 years old. Born Frank Smith in Indianapolis, IN just 11 days after the end of World War I and on the dawn of the invention of radio, he spent his childhood in Cleveland, OH where he later attended Fenn College. His interest in the air waves was nurtured at a very early age when, with his father who was employed by the Westeren Electric Company, he built a workable broadcasting station in his home whereby he was able to communicate from the attic to the basement by radio.
During his college days, he joined the Page and Guide Staff of the National Broadcasting Company and took advantage of all the on-the-job training courses in adminstration, programming announcing, sales, special events and news. Based on his acquired knowledge and skills, he became a staff announcer on WAKR in Akron, OH and in 1940 was summoned by WHK in Cleveland. Within six months, he was tied for first place as the top commercial man. As offers came in for his talents, WW II broke out and he joined the U.S. Air Force (then the Army Air Corps). After two years in Dayton, OH, he was assigned by General Arnold to the Central and Western Pacific as a GI Combat Radio Correspondent, covering operations in Guam, Saipan, Tinian, Okinawa Ie Shima, Iwo Jima and Japan. After the war, he returned to Cleveland to serve as a featured announcer and Director of Programming for WJW and the former WTAM-WNBK. He continued over the years serving various stations in the Midwest doing variety shows, commercial presenting and a host of other entertainment and hosting activities in both radio and television. It was during this busy period that he took a job for a client as "Brooke Taylor". That client eventually went out of business and Mr. Taylor decided to keep the name, changing it legally to "Brooke S. Taylor". In 1959, Alcoa Aluminum, having been very satisfied with his ability to sell their product on the airwaves and with his face and voice also becoming familiar to millions, he was picked to host their new television program entitled "Alcoa Presents" on ABC-TV. At the same time, he was working with Patti Page on her show to tell the Oldsmobile story, one of the top bracket sponsors who utilized his talents during this period. He married Liz Taylor, a fashion model for the Conover agency, in 1959 and they eventually settled in Greenwich, CT and had two children, Gordon and Douglas. In 2000, he and his wife moved to Walnut Creek, CA to be closer to his sons and grandchildren. Liz died in 2007 and he is survived by his two sons, daughter in-law (Julie) and two grandchildren, Kyle (son of Gordon) and Eugene (son of Douglas). Mr. Taylor was not a religious man, but a dedicated Quaker. It would be apprecited if donations were made to American Friends Service Committee; AFSC Development 1501 Cherry St. Philadelphia, PA 19102
Published in GreenwichTime from Mar. 30 to Mar. 31, 2013