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"It's not the size of the dog in the fight, it's the size of the fight in the dog." It seems Rosey Taylor was always fighting his entire life - to be better, to be faster, and to reach higher.
Roosevelt Taylor, also known as "Rosey," was born July 4, 1937 in Eudora, AR. Born to the union of William Taylor and Savannah Mathis Taylor. His mother moved his sister and him to New Orleans when he was four years old and he remained a New Orleanian until his transition.
He was a graduate of Joseph S. Clark Senior High School in New Orleans, where he excelled in basketball, football and track. Rosey's athletic talents landed him a basketball scholarship to Grambling State University. However, when he arrived at Grambling there was no scholarship, but nothing would deter Rosey from attaining his dreams. He worked several jobs to pay for school and later tried out for the football team, led by the legendary Coach Eddie Robinson, who immediately recognized Rosey's natural athletic talents. Rosey embodied all of the traits that Coach Robinson required from his entire Grambling Tigers squad. to be "agile, mobile and hostile."
In 1961, he was signed as an undrafted free agent by the Chicago Bears. Taylor played 8½ of his 12 seasons with the Bears and was a part of the 1963 NFL championship team that had one of the great defenses in league history. He also played 2½ years with the San Francisco 49ers after the Bears traded him in the middle of the 1969 season and finished his career in 1972 with the "Over the Hill Gang" Washington Redskins.
Taylor, who ranked no. 43 on the Chicago Tribune's list of the Top 100 players in Bears' history last year, had 23 of his 32 career interceptions with the Bears. He had nine interceptions and three fumble recoveries in 1963, and his 12 takeaways are still tied for the single-season franchise record.

He was an All-Pro and Pro Bowl selection in 1963 and also was named to the Pro Bowl in 1968. Taylor played in eight career playoff games, though only one was with the Bears, and he ended his career by playing in Super Bowl VII in the Redskins' 14-7 loss to the Miami Dolphins.
In 1970 Taylor won the Eshmont Award, which is the 49ers' most prestigious annual honor. It is given each year to the Niner who best exemplifies the "inspirational and courageous play" of Len Eshmont, a player from the original 1946 Forty Niners' team. A few years later, he was among a group of athletes invited by President Nixon to the White House to participate in an anti-drug campaign.
Rosey Taylor was as soft-spoken off the field as he was hard-hitting on it. He had a well-deserved reputation as a gentleman's gentleman, and relished any and every opportunity to serve as a role model for young African-American men. It was a role he played perhaps even better than his role as a defensive back on the gridiron. He was motivated to give back because of the racial discrimination he faced throughout his life even as a professional athlete and even in his own beloved hometown.

Recognizing the lack of opportunities for underprivileged African American youth, Taylor envisioned a football camp for young males - long before anything as such was established in this area. As a strictly non-profit endeavor, he solicited donations from numerous civic minded clubs and organizations and set about to make his vision a reality.
With the help of a group of loyal friends, they established the "Rosey Taylor Football Camp". Because it was self-subsidized, he was only able to do it for one year. but the seed was planted. He also sponsored the Rosey Taylor Relays in conjunction with his high school alma mater, Joseph S. Clark. The inspiration for these undertakings came from his first coach, Ralph Haynes, who took the time and attention to mentor young African American males.
Many would say, Rosey, was an "everyman" hero. Following his retirement from football, Rosey enjoyed several other careers. He had a brief stint as a sports broadcaster on a local TV station with Buddy Diliberto. He also owned several businesses which spanned the New Orleans area, the Lake Charles area, as well as the Bay area. These businesses included a trucking company, a hotel, and several restaurants. But the most notable one would be a sports bar that he owned and operated for almost two decades; The Rosey Taylor Locker Room Lounge, which resided on St. Ann Street at the foot of the French Quarters not far from the Municipal Auditorium. Many sports fans, sports legends, New Orleanians, and tourists alike enjoyed spirits in the lounge which was decorated to resemble an actual football locker room.
Rosey also was a community activist. He served as a Community Relations Liaison during Sheriff Harry Lee's tenure. In this role he visited schools in the Jefferson Parish area and spoke to youth.
Rosey made his transition on May 29, 2020. Larger than life, generous to a fault, he was an amazing father, devoted husband, beloved grandfather and uncle. He will be dearly missed by his wife of almost 60 years, Claudia, his daughters Sherri Taylor - Los Angeles, Alicia Taylor Bard (Branville) - Cambridge, MA, Brian Taylor (Bernadette) - Buffalo, NY; four grandchildren, Edward Taylor, Brandyn Bard, Grant Taylor, Taylor Grace Bard and a host of nieces and nephews. He is preceded in death by his mother Savannah, father William, sisters Lee Aster Williams and Johnnie L. Walker.
In lieu of flowers please consider donating to Grambling Legends, in Roosevelt Taylor's name. Donations can be sent to: The Grambling Legends, Inc. P.O Box 73436, Baton Rouge LA. 70874.
A private service will be held on Wednesday,

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