The 4Way Test association

  1. Is it the TRUTH?
  2. Is it FAIR to All Concerned?
  3. Will it Build GOODWILL and Better Friendships?
  4. Will it Be BENEFICIAL to All Concerned?

The 4Way Test ...of what we think, say or do!

Word by word translation is not precise. Please excuse!

H. J. TAYLOR BIOGRAPHY 1893 - 1978

Early Years

     Herbert John Taylor was born in Pickford, Michigan on April 18, 1893.  He grew up in what was a mostly rural, small town community in the logging territory of the Upper Peninsula -- the third of Frank and Martha Ellen Taylor's seven children.  He had a typical boyhood -- public school, chores, fishing and church.  His industrious father practically ran the town.  Frank Taylor established the telephone company and the electric company as well as ran a lumber-supply firm, a bank and a dairy.  Herb was encouraged to work.  By raising sheep, selling the wool and later the sheep themselves, he was able to save enough money for his education.  He also sold advertising for the dairy.  When he was 16, at a revival service, Herb Taylor made a life-changing decision -- he went forward and he accepted Christ as his Savior.

     Pickford had no high school, so Herb moved to Sault Ste. Marie, a small city 25 miles north of Pickford, where he boarded and earned his way through school.  Here he worked for Western Union as a telegraph operator. His next stop after high school was Northwestern University in Chicago.  He chose Northwestern (rather than the University of Chicago where he had already been accepted) primarily because of the friendly reception he received from the Beta Theta Pi Fraternity. 

     He continued to work his way through school selling typewriters, working for the telegraph company, and writing sports news for two Chicago newspapers (using the telegraph to wire his stories) so his arrived first!  He was also business manager of the college yearbook, responsible for selling advertising space.

     His formula for success was organization.  He set up a tight schedule that allowed him about six hours sleep a night, and he stuck to it even when courting the girl who would become his wife, Gloria Forbrich. 

     Gloria was 14 years old when they met on a blind date (not with each other) at the elevated station in Rogers Park.  She was a knock-out and he had competition.  He also had to break up with a lovely girl, the campus queen, in order to date Gloria.  He knew he got the right girl for him, though!

Between Two World Wars

     When Herb Taylor graduated from Northwestern in 1917, he volunteered to work with the YMCA in France.  The United States officially entered World War I and he immediately signed up with the navy.  When the war ended in November of 1918, he was asked to remain in France with the YMCA, which he did for about a year.

     He returned home to Chicago in the spring of 1919.  He and Gloria were married about a month later. Before year's end they moved from Chicago to Paul's Valley, Oklahoma, where he took a job as assistant manager for a pipeline station the Sinclair Oil Company had under construction.  Within a year he was in business for himself as a lease broker for oil exploration and as an insurance salesman.  Their first daughter Beverly was born here.  It was in Paul's Valley that Herb Taylor first became involved with a Rotary Club.  He helped found it! 

     Rotary International founded in Chicago in 1905 was 16 years old in 1921. It had 758 chapters that spanned the globe.  Herb, returning to Chicago in 1924 joined the Chicago Rotary Club in 1927.

     He was hired in Chicago to be an executive in training with the Jewel Tea Company.  He began as a traveling salesman and by 1926 was assistant to the president, M. H. Karker.  (Karker had been his commanding officer in the navy.)  In 1928 he became a vice president and director.  He also published 2 booklets on office management with the American Management Association.  That same year, he and Gloria moved to Park Ridge, a suburb of Chicago.  Their second daughter Ramona was born.  He and Gloria lived at 300 North Ashland Avenue for the rest of his life.

     In late 1929 Continental Bank persuaded Jewel Tea Company to offer Club Aluminum Products Company the services of Herb Taylor for a period of three years. The offer was on a half-time basis to help keep the bankrupt cookware company afloat.  He was made President.  It quickly became apparent the company was in horrible shape.  Jewel Tea Company wanted him back full time.  Instead, Herb Taylor chose to stay with Club Aluminum.  He borrowed $6,100 against he Jewel Tea stock and cut his salary from $33,000 to $6,000 -- a level it stayed at for four years.  His innovations and the dedication of all members of the company working together using The 4-Way Test (which he wrote in 1932) became a success story.

     Of course, December 7th, 1941, changed life in the United States drastically.  World War II brought new challenges.  Club Aluminum was informed that no aluminum for domestic production was available.  It was needed by the federal government for the war effort.  One plant was overhauled to make weapons.  The company diversified into flameproof glass coffee makers and table games made out of fiberboard and plastic for the duration.  Frowning on discrimination, he had Club Aluminum hire Japanese workers forced to move to the Midwest because their loyalty was suspect.  He joined the War Department's Price Adjustment Board as a "dollar-a-year" man becoming its vice chairman under Maurice Karker's leadership.

     One of the reasons Herb Taylor chose to stay with Club Aluminum was because he felt the Lord had a plan for his life which involved becoming enough of a success in business that he could use his extra time to work with youth.  In 1940 he set up the Christian Worker's Foundation.  With the foundation's assistance and Herb Taylor's personal commitment, five Christian organizations with emphasis on reaching youth were pioneered, nurtured and expanded in the USA -- InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, Young Life, Child Evangelism Fellowship, Pioneer Girls and Christian Service Brigade.  Through his efforts, large tracts of acreage in Colorado and Michigan were bought and assembled.  These would become camps for youth used by each of these organizations.  In all, more than 200 youth oriented organizations were recipients of gifts during his lifetime.

Peacetime Again

     Since the early 1940's Rotary International had used The 4-Way Test as part of its Vocational Service Outreach.  In 1946, having served as a district governor and director over the past several years, Herb Taylor became a vice-president of Rotary International.  In 1954, while serving as president of Rotary International, he formally shared The 4-Way Test's copyright with Rotary. He and his wife Gloria traveled all around the world that year -- Rotary's 50th Anniversary. One trip involved over 25,000 miles of airplane travel. They visited 38 countries.

    In 1959, he founded The 4Way Test Association to aid the Test's spread into communities worldwide. Because of its use by so many Rotarians, the Test was already making its way around the world.  Several communities in Japan even put the Test on umbrellas offered free of charge as loaners at their rail stations during inclement weather.  In fact, over the years, The 4-Way Test has been the cornerstone of labor contracts, adopted by state governments such as the Florida legislature in 1980; promoted in community-wide campaigns:  Daytona Beach, FL; Dallas, TX; Pittsburgh, PA; Long Beach, CA; Grosse Point, MI; Oshkosh, WI; Memphis, TN; and introduced into middle school to college level classrooms throughout the USA and abroad.

     Mr. Taylor has received many awards for his philanthropy, including one from his alma mater -- Northwestern University's highest award, its Alumni Medal in 1957.  He is also the recipient of four honorary degrees from other universities.  Always on the go, despite health problems, he was instrumental in encouraging Billy Graham to hold the first Greater Chicago Crusade in McCormick Place in June of 1962 and served as Chair of its Executive Committee.

Medical Battles

     A serious illness -- eventually diagnosed as undulant fever -- incapacitated him for a good portion of 1947.  It was traced back to some unpasteurized milk the Taylors' had purchased in Oklahoma some twenty-five years earlier.  This illness and the medications required over the years caused diabetes and migraine headaches. Yet, he was a man who smiled, enjoyed people, always on the go.  You would not know to look at him how much he suffered at times.

      In 1975 he was struck low by a stroke which resulted in aphasia.  He lost almost his entire vocabulary, though his mind functioned clearly.  It did not affect his personality, which remained friendly and outgoing.  Even disabled by aphasia, his warm personality, faith and energy shown through to family and friends who often visited him.  He died on May 1, 1978 with few regrets.  "He had followed God's plan for his life as best he understood it."

     Biographical Notes and Sources:  God's Man in The Marketplace by Paul H. Heidebrecht 1990; The Herbert J. Taylor Story, his autobiography 1968; Paul Harris and His Successors Profiles in Leadership 1997; personal papers from The 4-Way Test Association.


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