Longtime Atlanta Journal-Constitution reporter and editor, Ron Taylor, who had an international reach, died Thursday. He was 65.
Born James Ronald Taylor, the journalist was also an author and teacher. He co-authored “Into the Newsroom: an introduction to journalism,” with friend and colleague Leonard Ray Teel. The book was eventually translated into many languages, and Mr. Taylor taught his craft to many around the globe.
“There were those in other countries who were hungry for American-style journalism, and Ron taught them,” Mr. Teel said. “He encouraged them to write with style, and he defined it best in the book. He said it was, ‘That quality buried in us all which manifests itself as a shout of distinction. The person who has found his or her style leaves some personal mark upon the work.’ ”
Alex Taylor remembers his father as a “hard-core journalist,” who loved to smoke a pipe and owned many typewriters over the years. A graduate of the University of Georgia, Ron Taylor initially wanted to be a sports writer, but switched to social, economic and political topics after Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., was assassinated, friends and colleagues said.
Mr. Taylor worked first for the Atlanta Journal as a feature writer. He also held the positions of editor and online producer for ajc.com and AccessAtlanta. In the ‘80s, during his days as a reporter, he wrote, and contributed to, articles that exposed unhealthy and cruel conditions at the Atlanta Zoo and introduced readers to an emerging epidemic: HIV/AIDS.
His writing also appealed to those not native to the area, as he explained the South to new arrivals, the dangers of buying boiled peanuts from a roadside stand in the mountains -- it ties up traffic -- and the rules of redneck bars, said colleague and friend Rhonda Cook, who continues to write for the AJC.
Mr. Taylor worked for the newspaper 41 years before he retired in 2009.
A memorial gathering is scheduled for 6 p.m. Wednesday at Manuel’s Tavern on N. Highland Avenue. SouthCare Cremation, Marietta was in charge.
In addition to his son, Mr. Taylor is survived by a sister Angela T. Mitchell of Summerville; and one grandson.