Graham C. Taylor, Jr., former managing editor of The Madison Courier, died Wednesday at Hickory Creek of Madison.

Taylor, 81, was the Courier's managing editor for 14 years before retiring in 1997. Prior to that, he served as the Courier's sports editor for 18 years.

Taylor was news and sports director for WORX radio for 12 years before joining the Courier in 1965.

Taylor was a 1949 graduate of Madison High School.

Taylor's wife, Madeline, died on April 6, 2006. The couple were married on Oct. 15, 1955. A daughter, Carol Taylor of Madison, survives.

Taylor was involved in many community activities. He served as a member of the city's Riverfront Development Commission. He was president of the Madison Regatta in 1979 and race chairman in 1980.

But, Taylor was best known for his support of prep athletics in the area. During his 18-year span as sports editor, he covered thousands of high school events.

Taylor also was a big fan of Indiana University sports - especially basketball.

He commented on the local sports scene with a weekly column "On Sports" that he continued to write after his retirement.

In a June 1985 story, Taylor wrote about the honor of serving as Regatta president:

"Nearly every president of the Regatta can come up with a dozen reasons why he enjoyed heading the organization and, at the same time, can quickly add a half-dozen reasons why "once is enough."

"The pleasures during that year overplayed the problems. It was a thrill to spend several hours with Olympic star Rafer Johnson, who was in town to serve as official starter of The Courier's 10K race.

"It was an honor to have so many wonderful committee heads and workers doing everything they could to assure a successful race," he said.

Bob Demaree, who succeeded Taylor as sports editor, wrote in a 1984 column, "I grew up learning about hydroplane racing by reading the things that Graham Taylor wrote about it.

"There are a couple of scrapbooks at home that have numerous articles that have his byline on them. I can only try, but I cannot even hope to measure up to his vast knowledge of the sport," Demaree wrote.

Funeral arrangements are pending at the Morgan & Nay Funeral Centre.