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Maxwell Davenport Taylor

Taylor, Maxwell Davenport, 1901–87, U.S. general, b. Keytesville, Mo., grad. West Point, 1922. In World War II he served in Europe with the 82d Airborne Division and as commander of the 101st Airborne Division. After serving as superintendent of West Point (1945–49) and U.S. commander in Berlin (1949–51), he commanded UN forces in Korea. From 1955 to 1959 he was army chief of staff, and he argued for an army capable of fighting a limited war. When the Eisenhower administration continued to emphasize U.S. nuclear capability, he resigned; he outlined his views in An Uncertain Trumpet (1959). In 1961, President Kennedy appointed Taylor to the post of military representative to the President, and in 1962 he became chairman of the joint chiefs of staff. He served until 1964, when President Johnson named him ambassador to South Vietnam. While in that post (1964–65) he urged continued limited U.S. participation in the Vietnam War. He wrote Responsibility and Response (1967) and Swords and Plowshares (1972), a memoir.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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