Senator Stratton Taylor is the youngest of four in his family by 13 years, and was the first of his siblings to be born in a house with electricity and running water. His love for education and politics can be traced to his parents, Owen and Velma Taylor. Both were educators and were the first in their families to stay in school beyond the eighth grade.
Out of his class of 17 students at Alluwe High School, Senator Taylor was the only one to graduate from college, earning first a degree from Claremore Junior College. The institution is now Rogers State University. The RSU library is named after him. Upon graduation from CJC, Taylor then attended the University of Tulsa obtaining an undergraduate degree and ultimately receiving his Juris Doctorate. He worked his way through college by sacking groceries, and received his undergraduate degree in education. At the age of 22, while a senior at the University of Tulsa, Taylor entered politics, running for the State House of Representatives and winning.
While in the legislature, he attended law school, alternating between the University of Tulsa and Oklahoma City University to complete his degree in four years. While attending TU during the legislative session, he often would hitchhike because of the poor condition of his car. As Senator Taylor was finishing law school, he was taking the first steps to becoming one of the most influential politicians in Oklahoma. At 26, he was elected to the State Senate and at 33, was appointed Chairman of the powerful Senate Appropriations Committee.
In 1995, with the unanimous support of both his Democratic and Republican colleagues, Taylor was elected the presiding officer of the Oklahoma State Senate, the highest leadership position in the Senate and third in line behind the Governor and Lt. Governor. He served in that capacity (as Senate President Pro Tempore) for eight years – the longest tenure in Oklahoma state history. In 2000, Taylor became the first Oklahoman to be elected Chairman of the Senate President’s Forum, a national organization comparable to the National Governor’s Association. He was also a member of the Board of Directors of the State Legislative Leaders Foundation. Taylor was also named by an Oklahoma City newspaper as one of the ten most powerful Oklahomans.
After twenty-four years of service, Taylor left the State Senate in 2006 at the age of 51 to practice law full time. Engaging in both plaintiff and defense work, his firm regularly represents Public Service Company of Oklahoma, Hillcrest Hospital, Stephens Production Company, AIG Insurance, and others, as well as serving as local counsel for many defense firms across the country.
Taylor has numerous reported defense cases including Southern Disposal, Inc. v. Texas Waste Management and the City of Hugo, 161 F.3d 1259 (10th Cir. 1998). He, along with another lawyer, has the largest plaintiff’s verdict in Rogers County history with a $10 million verdict that was upheld by the Oklahoma Supreme Court in Hinds v. Warren Transport, 882 P.2d 1099 (Okl. App. 1994). He is the founding partner in the law firm of Taylor, Burrage, Foster, Mallett, Downs, Ramsey & Russell which represents clients statewide.
Taylor is also a Life Member of the Uniform Law Commission and has been named an Oklahoma Super Lawyer by Oklahoma Magazine. He was a founding fellow of the Litigation Counsel of America.
Taylor is married to former State Representative, Dr. Carolyn Thompson Taylor. They have two children, Carson Owen Taylor and Abbey Anne Taylor.