TAYLOR--Gerald L., former publisher of The National Lampoon, Spy Magazine, and Harper's Bazaar, passed away at his Bridgehampton, NY, home on February 5, 2021. He was 85. Taylor lived in both Bridgehampton and New York City with his wife of 38 years, Maureen Lippe Taylor. Known to all as Jerry, he figured prominently in the New York publishing world as a specialist in the youth and humor markets. He was publisher of The National Lampoon, as well as executive producer of its first album, "Radio Dinner," noted for first-time recorded appearances of Christopher Guest and Melissa Manchester. He published the Harvard Lampoon parodies of People and Newsweek, then, through his own firm, independent parodies of Playboy, Rolling Stone, and Cosmopolitan. He created Big Ten Magazine and The Daily Sun, both targeting college students. Other publication start-ups include a re- boot of Liberty Magazine and The New York Doctor. Having a creative knack in addition to an astute business sense, Taylor often lent his natural humor and intelligence to the editorial side, particularly for the original publications. Reflecting on the business of humor, he was a featured interview in the documentary "Drunk Stoned Brilliant Dead: The Story of the National Lampoon." In a move he dubbed "going from the bizarre to Bazaar," Taylor left The National Lampoon to become publisher of Harper's Bazaar. There, he continued the witty play on words with the marketing campaign asking advertisers "Are You Bazaar?" A man of style, Taylor's sartorial panache included sporting cowboy boots with suits in the '70s, pairing Liberty of London ties with three-piece suits in the '80s, and developing his later personal signature of white jeans and striped dress shirts. A devoted family man, he loved Thanksgivings with his children and grandchildren around the table, laughing and enjoying the traditional meal he prepared. The weekend often included a marathon of "The Godfather" and a rousing game of Monopoly. Family devotion extended to nurturing the careers of his children, who followed in his sales, publishing, and marketing footsteps. Older son, Scott, sold ad space for the parody publications and was editor of The Daily Sun, where daughter Julie was a photographer. He encouraged her editorial career and was a trusted advisor as she created her public relations firm. After his publishing career, which later included Spy Magazine, Taylor joined Maureen as general manager at Lippe Taylor, the public relations and brand marketing firm she founded, working alongside their son, Nick. A lover of culture, Taylor was an avid ballet-, theater-, and movie-goer, a voracious reader, a huge Yankees fan, a longtime supporter of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and a sparkling raconteur. His cultural heroes were Beethoven, Thomas Jefferson, Lenny Bruce, and Marshall McLuhan. He had a commanding presence (people would often remark how he entered a room as though he owned it) that was genuine and gracious. He loved working in his flower garden in Bridgehampton and possessed incredible parking karma in the middle of Manhattan. His philanthropic endeavors included long- time board membership of Phoenix House drug rehabilitation center. Taylor was born in Los Angeles on June 29, 1935. He attended Fairfax High School, served in the US Navy, and graduated with a business degree from Woodbury University (Burbank, CA). He then embarked on a career in advertising, working at Young & Rubicam in Los Angeles, then becoming an advertising rep in Chicago before settling in New York City. Taylor first met Maureen when she came to the Lampoon office to see brother Bill Lippe, then associate publisher for the publication, and was immediately struck by her presence. A romance ensued and developed into a devoted marriage of 38 years based on the deepest of love, honor, and delight. In addition to his wife Maureen, Taylor is survived by his children Scott Taylor of Bridgeport, CT, Julie D. Taylor of Los Angeles, and Nicholas Taylor of New York City, along with grandchildren Max, Emma, and Liam Taylor and great-grandchildren Theodore and Lucy Taylor.
Published in New York Times on Feb. 28, 2021.