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Continued: Glen Taylor: Soul of a billionaire

  • Article by: TERRY FIEDLER , Star Tribune
  • Last update: April 26, 1998 - 3:51 PM

Taylor's political interest turned out to be good for
business. Externally, he got to know members of both parties and
senior executives of companies such as 3M Co. Internally, other
managers who once waited for Taylor to return from his 3 1/2 days a
week in the Senate to get his decisions "in the end made their own,
and everybody got stronger," said Al Fallenstein, executive vice
president of Taylor Corp.

Yet Taylor paid a huge price for the time away from his
family.

He was building toward a run for governor in 1990, but "my
marriage was falling apart," Taylor said. "My wife [Glenda] said she
would support my decision [to run], but I decided not to do that."

Glenda Taylor, through her daughter Jean, declined to
comment.

Taylor says it was "too late" when he started to pay attention
to the relationship. He calls the neglect of his marriage - the
couple had been separated since the mid-'80s, Taylor says - "the
worst misstep" of his life. "The one downfall about the Senate is
that it keeps you away from your family. Two people can grow
apart."

Relations were strained with the couple's four children. The
matter was especially taxing because Taylor's political position -
and, it turned out, his wealth - made the breakup so public.

Until that time, people at the Capitol thought Taylor wasn't
anything more than the owner of a small printing company near
Mankato. His colleagues were educated by reports of Taylor's
personally negotiated divorce settlement in October 1990, which
included $10 million in payments and transfer of some real estate
and portions of business holdings to Glenda Taylor.

On the basis of comments by Glenda Taylor's lawyer at the time,
it was easy to extrapolate that Glen Taylor was worth hundreds of
millions of dollars.

Changing course

Taylor left politics the same year he divorced. "I got back to
my family and back to work," he said.

There were other matters to settle, including a decision he
says was the most important of the last few years. He had a daughter
out of wedlock during his separation, and he prayed for guidance
about "his little girl, whether it was healthy to help her, other
than financially, if I'm not committed to marriage."

After praying, "I decided I wanted to be involved." He calls
his daughter, Kendahl, "an inspiration. She is a wonderful girl."

He now shares custody of the 10-year-old daughter with her
mother, who prefers that neither her daughter's last name nor her
name be used.

Taylor and his youngest daughter often attend Timberwolves
games, as do other family members. Three sons-in-law are team
executives; Glenda Taylor is a limited partner in the team.

"We're friends," Taylor said of his ex-wife. "She's a super
lady. So much of the family is involved, I asked her if she'd like
to be."

He adds, with a laugh, "I knew how much money she had."

Money and ego

Taylor makes multimillion-dollar decisions as frequently as
other people make lunch appointments. As a result, when he sold his
North Mankato-based bank holding company in March, personally
pocketing as much as $50 million, the news barely made a ripple.

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