Theodore Taylor (author)

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Theodore Taylor
BornTheodore Langhans Taylor
(1921-06-23)June 23, 1921
Statesville, North Carolina, United States
DiedOctober 26, 2006(2006-10-26) (aged 85)
Laguna Beach, California, United States
SpouseGweneth Goodwin (m. 1941, d. 1977)
Flora Schoenleber (m. 1981-2006, his death)
Military career
Allegiance United States
Service/branch United States Navy
Battles/warsWorld War II

Theodore Langhans Taylor (June 23, 1921 – October 26, 2006) was an American author of more than 50 fiction and non-fiction books for young adult readers, including The Cay, The Weirdo (winner of the 1992 Edgar Award for Best Young Adult Mystery), Timothy of the Cay, and The Bomb.[1]

Taylor died on October 26, 2006, in Laguna Beach, CA, from complications of a heart attack.

Notable works[edit]

The Cay[edit]

The Cay, Taylor's story of a racially prejudiced white boy stranded with a black man, has become perhaps the most beloved of his young adult novels. It took only three weeks to complete and has seen worldwide sales of around four million. Taylor based the character of the boy in his book on a childhood friend, named Phillip. "The one thing I remembered about [him] was that his mother had taught him to hate black people and to hate them with a passion," Taylor once[when?] told a reporter from the Los Angeles Times. In the book, the boy sheds his racist views as he learns to admire and respect the black man who had rescued him from the ocean, especially after he goes blind. For a short period of time The Cay was banned[citation needed] and was classified as racist.

Timothy of the Cay[edit]

In 1993, Taylor wrote and published the follow-up to The Cay, which he titled Timothy of the Cay. It describes the life of Timothy before his encounter with Phillip Enright, the narrator of The Cay, and what happened to Phillip after he was rescued, by which time Timothy had been dead for almost two months.


  1. ^ Adam Bernstein (October 30, 2006). "Obituary: Theodore Taylor, 85; Author of 'The Cay'". The Washington Post. Retrieved July 29, 2016.

External links[edit]