Glen Hearst Taylor (born April 12, 1904 in Portland, Oregon - died April 28, 1984 in Millbrae, California) was a colorful and controversial politician, businessman and United States Senator from Idaho. He was the vice presidential candidate on the Progressive Party ticket in the 1948 election. Taylor was otherwise a member of the Idaho Democratic Party.
Taylor was the son of a wandering preacher. He moved to a homestead near Kooskia, Idaho, as a child and attended the public schools in Idaho. He later joined a stock theater company in 1919. He became the owner and manager of various entertainment enterprises between 1926 and 1944. He was a country-western singer.
He was inspired by King C. Gillette's book The People's Corporation.
He ran for the Senate in 1940 in a special election to fill the remaining term of the late William E. Borah, but lost to John W. Thomas with 47.1 percent to Thomas's 53.0 percent. He ran again in 1942 against Thomas and lost a close race, 51.5 - 48.5.
Taylor ran for the Senate for a third time in 1944, defeating incumbent D. Worth Clark in the Democratic primary and Governor C. A. Bottolfsen in the general election.
In 1948 Taylor was the vice presidential candidate on the Progressive ticket headed by former Vice President Henry A. Wallace of Iowa. The Wallace/Taylor ticket failed to carry any states and won only 2.4 percent of the nationwide popular vote.
Taylor was arrested on May 1, 1948, in Birmingham, Alabama, for attempting to use a door reserved for negroes, rather than the whites-only door. He was subsequently convicted of disorderly conduct.
In 1950 Taylor ran for the Senate again but was defeated in the Democratic primary by Clark, who in turn lost in the general election to Republican Herman Welker.
Taylor served as president of Coryell Construction Co. from 1950 to 1952. He ran again for the Senate in 1954 but was decisively beaten by Republican incumbent Henry Dworshak, winning only 37.2 percent of the vote. His sixth and final Senate race came in 1956, but he narrowly lost the Democratic primary to Frank Church.
After his 1956 loss, Taylor and his wife, Dora, moved to Millbrae, California, and began making hairpieces by hand. By 1960, Taylor Topper Inc. had become the major manufacturer of hair replacements in the United States. Taylor told the Washington Post in 1978 that it was something he was very familiar with. "I was 18, a juvenile leading man in a traveling show, and my hair had begun to fall out. There isn't much demand for bald juvenile leading men, and I tried everything - sheep dip, what have you - and that just made it fall out faster."
Taylor explained that he had run for Congress without the hairpiece and found that voters "didn't have much use for bald politicians" because "I ran the fourth time with it and won." His orignial toupee was made from a tin pie plate, which he line with pink felt and swatches of human hair.