Albany businessman, politico Fred Taylor dies

Fred Taylor, who founded Georgia’s largest privately-owned truck leasing firm and served as Chief of Staff to Governor George Busbee from 1974 to 1982, died last week. Among his political legacy is Georgia Constitutional Amendment #2, which allows a Governor to succeed himself, and the career of his son, former Lieutenant Governor Mark Taylor. The Albany Herald has an obituary and details.

A fearless entrepreneur who started his first business with $95 in Ocilla, GA, he was founder and owner of Georgia Mack Sales now Transpower, Inc. with locations in Albany, Valdosta and Douglas, 1967 Mack Truck National Dealer of the Year, and founder and owner of Interstate NationaLease, Inc., Georgia’s largest privately-owned truck leasing firm with 16 locations in Georgia and Alabama.

He was a former Albany Chamber of Commerce Vice President, twin engine rated pilot, former member City of Albany Aviation Commission, South Georgia Campaign Manager, Campaign Finance Co-Chair and the “Field Marshall” for George Busbee for Governor in 1974 and 1978. Chief of Staff to Governor George Busbee 1974 to 1982, and a leader in the passage of Constitutional Amendment Number 2 allowing George Busbee to be the first Georgia Governor to seek and win a second consecutive term in office.

He was founder and owner of Interstate Warehouse Services of Albany and Thomasville, an 18 year member of the Board of Directors for SunTrust Bank, long time Director for the Georgia Chamber of Commerce and the Georgia Motor Trucking Association, member of Governor Zell Millers’ Commission on Effectiveness and Economy in Government, and recognized on four occasions by Georgia Trend Magazine as one of the 100 Most Influential Georgians.

Former Lt. Gov. Mark Taylor discussed his father’s service to Georgia:

Mark Taylor called his father a “tireless worker” who was committed to public service and Georgia.

“He would always say we have our civic rent to pay,” Mr. Taylor said. “He also said we always need to be involved in encouraging good government in Georgia.”

In addition to working with Mr. Busbee, Fred Taylor also helped Zell Miller reach the Governor’s Mansion. He was a state fundraising co-chairman for President Jimmy Carter’s re-election bid, and he was involved with his son’s political career.

Mark Taylor said his father was “fearless” in his pursuits and was determined to do anything he started well.

“I think there is a quotient of fearlessness in any entrepreneur,” he said. “The naysayers always outnumber your cheerleaders, but my father was willing to take the risk. He would do his due diligence, but he was consistently willing to try new ventures.”