John Albert Taylor was born in Hobart on 17 September 1933. His father Albert was a Professor of English at the University of Tasmania. John was educated at Hobart High School, completed his National Service, gained a Bachelor of Laws (Hons) from the University of Tasmania in 1956, worked as a solicitor for the Hydro, graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in 1963, and worked as a private legal practitioner in Launceston until his retirement in 1999. He spent some time in Africa and was one of the leading tax planning lawyers in Tasmania. John was a foundation member of the Launceston Historical Society in 1989. He was a member of the Tasmanian Working Committee of the Australian Dictionary of Biography from 2002. In his retirement John developed a passion for the history and languages of the Tasmanian Aboriginal people. In 2006 he completed his Master of Arts at the university of Tasmania with a thesis based on the Palawa (Tasmanian Aboriginal) languages. He was an Honorary Research Assistant with Riawunna. He had published a number of books and papers about Tasmanian place names and Aboriginal history and linguistics. He was undertaking a Doctorate of Philosophy at the time of his death in Hobart on 26 August 2007. John Taylor played hockey, and later in life played bowls, chess and bridge. He was a keen painter, gardener and outdoorsman. He had seven children.