Jack Crawford Taylor is an American businessman and the founder of the Enterprise Rent-A-Car Company. He is ranked by Forbes as the 18th-richest American and the 40th-richest person in the world. Born and raised in St. Louis, Taylor briefly attended Westminster College in Fulton, Mo., and Washington University in St. Louis, before enlisting in the United States Navy after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. He became an F6F Hellcat fighter pilot and saw combat duty in the Pacific Theatre from the decks of the aircraft carriers U.S.S. Essex and U.S.S. Enterprise (for which he later named his company.) Taylor was twice decorated with the Distinguished Flying Cross, and also received the Navy Air Medal.
Founded Enterprise Rent-A-Car
In 1957, Jack Taylor founded Enterprise Rent-A-Car (then called Executive Leasing) in the basement of a Cadillac dealership where he worked as a salesman in his hometown of St. Louis. In the coming decades, as the rest of the rental car industry focused on serving airports, Taylor created the “home city” rental market. By renting cars from convenient, neighborhood locations to meet a variety of customer needs, Enterprise became the industry leader by quietly but steadily developing a nearly $10 billion market that is now the largest and most hotly contested segment in the roughly $19 billion U.S. car rental industry.
Balanced Business with Community Involvement
A quiet and unassuming man by nature, Taylor founded his company on a simple philosophy that has been the company’s hallmark for half a century: “Take care of your customers and employees first, and profits will follow.” While privately held Enterprise does not disclose profit figures, growth and success have certainly followed. Today, Enterprise is a $9.04 billion company serving customers in the U.S., Canada, U.K., Ireland, and Germany from more than 6,900 locations, including more than 229 on-airport branches. Taylor has balanced his business accomplishments with community involvement and has established himself as a philanthropist.
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