Illinois Authors

The Illinois Center for the Book banner

Karl K. Taylor

Connection to Illinois: Taylor lives in Washington, Illinois.

Biography: Karl K. Taylor is the consummate writer. He earned his Ph.D. in English from the University of Illinois with an emphasis on writing and published his work in a number of prestigious academic journals. He spent over twenty years teaching the art of writing and has written three books on how to write. He has also been on the staff of Bradley University. With his Midwestern roots, Karl also had a blog that featured essays of average people from small towns who do extraordinary things. Karl received his BA degree from Knox College.


Primary Literary Genre(s): Non-Fiction

Primary Audience(s): Adult readers


Selected Titles

The American Banker in Paris: The Remarkable True Story of Little Known Nelson Dean Jay

Dorrance Publishing Co. 2023

The life of Nelson Dean Jay is an opus sized adventure of the unknown banker who lived in Paris and influenced the powerful people of Europe as well as world events. During the Roaring Twenties in Paris, he was a friend of Ernest Hemingway, Coco Chanel, and Gertrude Stein. Jay was described in the New York Times as "one of the most civilized and authentic Americans in Paris." The German Gestapo busted into his office to close down his bank. He was the only American bank to remain open in occupied Paris during the war. DEAN JAY, NOT J.P. MORGAN, WILL ACT ON GERMAN REPARATIONS. New York Times January 15, 1929. Jay was a member of the welcoming party for Charles Lindbergh when he made the first transatlantic flight-New York to Paris. Later he criticized Lindbergh to his face, suggesting that he consider his views carefully. Was Dean Jay a spy? Probably not, but everyone sought his advice. From presidents to popes to dictators. He was an informant who provided information to those who needed and used it. He met his wife, Anne, on a blind date and that night he told her "I'm going to marry you." And he did. The marriage lasted sixty years. Jay helped provide the money for the work of his friend, Nobel Prize winner Madame Marie Curie, who laid the foundation for modern oncology. Dean and Anne Jay were people of substance and seriousness of purpose. You knew they were people to be heard and heeded. Both stood very erect with an unassuming, easy dignity of bearing. They were well above the average height and would have been described as "tall." Both had what we might then have called "fine figures" with reasonably broad shoulders and trim waists. Add for her a full bust.