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HSC-BCD honors legacy of Dr. Paul Taylor

Dr Paul Taylor
Dr. Paul Taylor
Texas A&M Health Science Center Baylor College of Dentistry mourns the loss of Dr. Paul Taylor, professor emeritus, founder of the college’s pediatric dentistry graduate program and chair of pediatric dentistry for more than 20 years.

Taylor passed away Sept. 17 at age 87 after complications from a stroke. He is remembered as a compassionate dentist, dedicated teacher, beloved mentor and good friend.

“Dr. Taylor had an enormous impact on Baylor College of Dentistry,” says Dr. James S. Cole, HSC-BCD dean. “I remember his remarkable devotion from my days as a student, which continued after his retirement as chair of pediatric dentistry. Even when he was in his 70s and 80s he would still show up early on a cold Saturday morning for a student ‘Eat & Learn’ program to share his wisdom and show his support.

“It is a tribute to him and a great benefit to us that he stayed involved with the college until the very end,” Cole says.

Taylor once described his entry into academics as being “all by accident.” Taylor was only the second dentist in Texas to have formal graduate training in pediatric dentistry. Upon seeing a need for postdoctoral training at HSC-BCD, he helped convince the dean to recruit the college’s first two graduate students in pediatric dentistry. The dean, in turn, asked Taylor to join the faculty. He became a professor and chaired the department until his formal retirement in 1986. However, Taylor continued teaching pediatric dentistry graduate students each week until just this summer.

Taylor was the third dentist ever to become a diplomate of the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry. He later served as chairman of that organization. He was chairman and vice chairman of the Pediatric Dentists Section of the American Dental Association and received a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2002 from the Dallas County Dental Society. He was inducted into the HSC-BCD Hall of Fame in 1999 and received the Distinguished Alumni Award in 2007.

“Dr. Taylor was a pioneer in pediatric dentistry and a legend,” says Dr. Suzi Seale, chair of the pediatric dentistry department. “His influence has been far-reaching and touched many. I wouldn’t be where I am today, doing what I love to do, if it weren’t for him, his mentoring and his influence in my life.”

Taylor graduated from HSC-BCD in 1944 then completed a graduate degree in pediatric dentistry at the University of Michigan dental school. He served as a captain in the U.S. Army during the Korean War. In 1953, he returned to Dallas and entered private practice. He served for many years as the director of the dental training programs at both Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children and Children’s Medical Center of Dallas, where an endowment has been established in his name.

To continue Taylor’s legacy, memorial donations can be made to the following organizations: the dental service at Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children, the Paul P. Taylor Pediatric Dentistry Association Endowment Fund at the Children's Medical Center Foundation, or the BCD Pediatric Support Fund at the Baylor Oral Health Foundation.

Tribute presentation
by Dr. Alton McWhorter and Lynn Mohundro