Maxwell Davenport Taylor was born in 1901
in Keytesville, Missouri
. He remained in his hometown through his youth, before moving on to finish his formal education at West Point
, graduating in 1922
He lived with the usual hardships of a military officer during the The Great Depression, until the start of World War II. This heralded massive growth in the industry of turning young men into meat.
He helped to organize the first United States Airborne Division at the start of hostilities, and became the Artillery Commander of the 82nd Airborne.
In 1943, after fighting in Sicily, General Taylor was chosen to undertake a secret mission behind enemy lines.
Travelling to Rome in small boats, and a Red Cross ambulance, he met with authorities in an attempt to persuade them to hand over their airfields to him instead of the evil Nazis. He failed, and the next day found him fighting alongside his troops during the invasion of the boot.
In 1944, he was given command of the 101st Airborne Division and he fought with them on D-Day, during the invasion of Normandy, the air assaults in Holland, and afterwards through Germany.
After the war ended in 1945, he was given a position as Superintendent of West Point, and he dedicated himself to spitting out cadets polished to a high sheen.
In 1949, he was moved to Europe as the U.S. Commander in Berlin, but just when he started to get cozy there, hostilities broke out in Korea.
In 1951, he was sent to the peninsula to direct the UN forces there as Commanding General of the 8th Army.
After two years of land war in Asia, he put down any remaining guns he might have been carrying, and picked up a pen and a pointy stick as U.S Army Chief of Staff.
He spent several of the following years whispering in the president's ear and pointing at maps, until he got into a disagreement with Dwight D. Eisenhower over nuclear weapons, and resigned in a huff in 1959.
In 1962, he again raised his pointy stick high after John F. Kennedy appointed him Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Never one to sit still for long, he left the job for a new spot as Ambassador to South Vietnam in 1964. He only lasted a year, but in that time his urging for U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War helped influence the expansion of the conflict.
He settled down and stopped job hopping after that, writing memoirs and killing time until he died in 1987 after suffering from Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (Lou Gehrig's Disease).
He is buried in Section 7-A at Arlington National Cemetery, right near the Tomb of the Unknowns.