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Press Release
November 2, 2006

National Archivesí Legendary Archivist John E. Taylor Honored by OSS Society

John Taylor PortraitJohn Taylor worked at the National Archives from 1945-2008.

John E. Taylor, an archivist at the National Archives for 63 years and a legend among those researching World War II and postwar intelligence activities, died September 20, 2008 at his home. He was 87.

Washington, DC…National Archivesí legendary archivist John E. Taylor has received the Office of Special Services (OSS) Society Distinguished Service Award for his decades of service working with OSS files. Mr. Taylor, a leading authority on covert military operations during World War II, was honored on September 16 at the OSS Society banquet, which was attended by all the current heads of U.S. intelligence agencies. He was praised for his efforts to open the OSS files, make these records accessible, and to widely promote their use by historians, journalists, students, and others. Thanks to Mr. Taylorís skills and expertise, "the history of the OSS is a living and continually expanding body of work." The citation continues: "his service is invaluable and will remain so."

Acclaimed by researchers worldwide for his grasp of history and ability to locate pertinent documents, Mr. Taylor is known for his sound advice and resourceful assistance to authors, scholars and historians. The National Archives has a special John E. Taylor Collection of nearly one thousand books on espionage and intelligence, mainly works in which Mr. Taylor provided critical assistance, and most cite him in the acknowledgements.

John Taylor, a graduate of the University of Arkansas, joined the National Archives in 1945. In his over six decades of work at the National Archives, Mr. Taylor been honored by numerous groups, including the National Archives, the National Intelligence Study Center, the Embassy of Japan, and the American Jewish Historical Society. He is a member of Phi Alpha Theta, the honorary History Fraternity, and Psi Chi, the honorary Psychology Fraternity. He is also a member of the Association of Former Intelligence Officers. From 1947 to 1995, he was the lead archivist for the Records of the War Production Board.

Asked about plans for retirement, Mr. Taylor characteristically smiles and says: "not this week."

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For more information, please call the National Archives Public Affairs staff at 202-357-5300.

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