Featured, Obituaries

Remembering the Legendary Roland “Rollo” Taylor

Roland L. Taylor, of Durham, N.C., died peacefully April 14, 2020 in Duke University Medical Center of complications from COVD-19. He was 90.

Born April 10. 1930, in Tarboro, N.C., he was the son of Samuel Albert and Nettie Simms Taylor. 

He was a 1948 graduate of Tarboro High School, and a 1952 graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. After graduating from UNC, he accepted a commission as an officer in the United States Navy. From 1952-56, he served aboard the USS Eaton.

After leaving the Navy, Taylor began a career that would define most of the rest of his life — that of a newsman. 

From 1956-63, Taylor was a general-assignment reporter for the Spartanburg (S.C.) Herald Journal. In that capacity, he covered the gamut of news, from city hall meetings to interviews with sheriffs and the people those sheriffs arrested. 

He left South Carolina in late 1963 to take over the struggling Welch Daily News in southern West Virginia. He excelled as its editor and publisher, getting the publication on firmer financial footing while remaining true to its mission to tell the truth. 

Taylor left West Virginia in 1981 for the Durham (N.C.) Herald Sun, where he served 10 years as its special-projects director. In 1991, he retired.

His survivors include his former wife, Annis I. Lee, of Smithfield, N.C.; son Lindsey H. (Lisa) of Essex Fells, N.J.; daughter Annis Kennedy (John); and grandsons Lee Taylor of Florida and Matthew Smith of Smithfield.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the family will hold a future memorial.