From NKAA, Notable Kentucky African Americans Database (main entry)

Taylor, Vertner L.

(born: 1938) Vertner Taylor, born in Lexington, KY, was the first African American graduate of the University of Kentucky pharmacy program in 1960. He is also a graduate of old Dunbar High School in Lexington, KY, and earned his undergraduate degree at Xavier University. In 1961, Taylor was the first African American pharmaceutical sales representative for E. R. Squibb and Sons in Chicago, the company was founded in 1892. Taylor was also the associate director of pharmacy at the University of Chicago. He returned to Kentucky where he helped establish the Hunter Foundation for Health Care, and was director of health services for the Kentucky Corrections Cabinet. Beginning in 2001, he served as the Corrections Commissioner of Kentucky.  For more see M. Davis, "Psychiatrist carries rich legacy from Lexington - Taylors cherish promise of education," Lexington Herald-Leader, 03/21/2010, City Region section, p.B1; E. A. Jasmin and A. Etmans, "Black UK graduates to honor school's 'Waymakers' of '60s," Lexington Herald-Leader, 10/01/1993, City/State section, p.B3; and the online article "Chicago drug firm hires 1st Negro salesman," Jet, 11/02/1961, p.51.

Kentucky County & Region

Read about Fayette County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Kentucky Place (Town or City)

Read about Lexington, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Outside Kentucky Place Name


Cited in this Entry

NKAA Entry: Paul Laurence Dunbar High School (Lexington, KY)
NKAA Entry: Hunter, John E. [Hunter Foundation (Lexington, KY)]
NKAA Source: Lexington herald-leader (newspaper)

Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Taylor, Vertner L.,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed October 30, 2020,

Last modified: 2018-01-14 01:58:47