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Canadian Multimillionaire Taylor Dead

May 15, 1989

TORONTO (AP) _ E.P. Taylor, a multimillionaire who built an international business empire from a small Ottawa brewery and was renowned for his interest in thoroughbred horse racing, is dead at the age of 88.

He died Sunday in the Bahamas, where he had lived since 1977. The cause of death was not given.

The giant Argus Corp. remains as a monument to Taylor’s financial zeal, although the closed-end investment fund that evolved into one of Canada’s most powerful corporate entities has been controlled by others for several years.

But it was in the breeding and racing of thoroughbred horses at his Windfield Farms in North Toronto that the pipe-smoking Taylor became most familiar to the public.

He frequently appeared in the winner’s circle with his victorious horses. Among his champions was Northern Dancer, the first Canadian-bred racer to win the Kentucky Derby.

Rick Cowan, senior vice-president of the Ontario Jockey Club, said flags will fly at half-staff at Ontario race tracks for several days.

He said a memorial service will be held in Toronto, but the date has not been set.

Taylor, born in Ottawa, moved to the Bahamas when he retired and became a citizen of that island nation.

During World War II he served as executive assistant to the minister of munitions and supply, vice chairman of the British Supply Council in North America and Canadian chairman of the joint war aid committee.

For his services he was made a Companion of St. Michael and St. George, the highest British honor for a Canadian citizen.

Taylor could be an uncompromising executive, and in 1957 he was accused of being ruthless when he fired the president of one of the Argus Corp.’s major holdings.

″Me ruthless?″ he responded to criticism. ″Certainly not. But when I’m right and management’s consistently wrong, of course I get rid of management.″

He also could be impatient with shareholders.

He once interrupted a shareholder who was pressuring him to increase dividends from Canadian Breweries Ltd., his major holding until he founded Argus.

″Madam, if you don’t like this company I suggest you sell your shares,″ he told her.

Taylor married Winifred Thornton Duguid of Ottawa in 1927 and they had three children, daughters Judith and Louise and son Charles. Louise died in 1979 and Taylor’s wife died in 1982.

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