Robert Lewis Taylor (24 September 1912 – 30 September 1998) was an American author and winner of the 1959 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.
Taylor was born in Carbondale, Illinois and attended Southern Illinois University, which now houses his papers, for one year. He graduated from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a Bachelor of Arts in 1933. After college, he became a journalist and won awards for reporting. In 1939, he became a writer for The New Yorker magazine as an author of biographical sketches. Additionally, his work appeared in The Saturday Evening Post and Reader's Digest.
From 1942 to 1946, Taylor served in the United States Navy during World War II. During his service, he wrote numerous stories and Adrift in a Boneyard as an extended fiction about survivors of a disaster. In 1949, The Saturday Evening Post commissioned a series of biographical sketches of W. C. Fields. He published them together as W. C. Fields: His Follies and Fortunes. He continued to write biographies, including one of Winston Churchill, as well as fiction.
Taylor's 1958 novel The Travels of Jaimie McPheeters, about a fourteen-year-old and his father in the California gold rush, won the Pulitzer Prize and was purchased for a film, but eventually became a television series instead. A Journey to Matecumbe was adapted as the Disney movie, Treasure of Matecumbe in 1976. His novel Professor Fodorski served as the basis for the 1962 musical All American. His 1964 novel Two Roads to Guadalupe also was successful.
- Adrift in a Boneyard (1947)
- Doctor, Lawyer, Merchant, Chief (1948)
- W. C. Fields His Follies and Fortunes (1949)
- Professor Fodorski (1950)
- The Running Pianist (1950)
- Winston Churchill: An Informal Study of Greatness (1952)
- The Bright Sands (1954)
- The Travels of Jaimie McPheeters (1958)
- Center Ring (1960)
- A Journey to Matecumbe (1961)
- Two Roads To Guadalupe (1964)
- Vessel of Wrath: The Life and Times of Carry Nation (1966)
- A Roaring in the Wind (1978)
- Niagara (1980)