There is much to be said about the gentle giant that some would affectionately call “OT “ and chuckle about the story of his quickly signing with the Chiefs and out of the hands of the Dallas Cowboys, who were hiding him in an effort to later sign him to a contract. Others continue to share the exciting tale of his signature touchdown in Super Bowl IV that would have the Kansas City Chiefs bringing home their 1st Lombardi Trophy, crowning him a Kansas City Icon.
Otis Taylor, Jr was the second child born on August 11,1942, to Lillian Lee and Otis Taylor, Sr in Houston, Texas. A strong family bond would make him the center of his older sister, Florence’s (Odell) eye as their life’s bond was unbreakable.
An alum of Worthing High School, Otis was an outstanding quarterback and also played basketball, baseball and ran track. He won back-to-back Black college national championships at Prairie View University A&M in 1963 and 1964. To this day, he remains the school’s career leader with 2,220 receiving yards, and his No. 17 jersey was the first in Panther’s history to be retired.
His talent did not go unnoticed as he emerged as a star receiver at Prairie View A&M. Otis was drafted in the fourth round of the American Football League (AFL) draft by the Chiefs and in the 15th round of the National Football League (NFL) draft by the Philadelphia Eagles. As a two-time AFL champion and an AFL MVP, he played for the Kansas City Chiefs from 1965 to 1975, being a part of the Chiefs family for 11 years.
Finishing his career with 7,306 yards, 410 passes and 57 receiving touchdowns, Otis ranks third in Chiefs history in receiving yards, after Tony Gonzalez and Travis Kelce. He was one of the most dynamic receivers of his era, and he helped revolutionize the position. Taylor was inducted into the Chiefs Hall of Honor in 1982 and into the Black College Football Hall of Fame in 2016.
But there’s another side to Otis Taylor, the husband of Regina Hill Taylor, his wife of 35 years and father to his son, Otis Taylor, III. Off-the-field, he was kind and dedicated not only to his family but to his community. His presence was known as he continued to serve on Boards and commissions throughout the Greater Kansas City area. His work with the Enshriners, Blue Cross/Blue Shield, Douglas Bank, and as a spokesperson for many organizations were just a few examples of his selfless love for Kansas City. He embraced the works of the legendary Derrick Thomas and upon his untimely passing, immediately stepped in to provide support and leadership to the Derrick Thomas/Neil Smith Third and Long Foundation.
Otis' legacy will live forever not only for sport enthusiasts across the country but with those who never met him but loved what he stood for in purpose and passion and for his family and friends. He was one of the greatest players in this game called life, rich in character, kindness, compassion, and determination.
Otis was preceded in death by both parents, Lillian Lee and Otis Taylor, Sr.
On March 9, 2023, Otis Taylor, #89 was inducted into the largest Hall of Fame. He leaves to cherish his memories, his wife, Regina Taylor; his sister, Florence (Odell); his son, Otis Taylor III and a host of family and friends.
Services will be held Wednesday, March 22, 11:00am at Friendship Baptist Church 3530 Chelsea Drive. Visitation 9 –11am. Visitation will be Tuesday, March 21, 2023, 4:00pm – 7:00 pm at Watkins Heritage Chapel. Interment in Memorial Park Cemetery. Services conducted by Watkins Heritage Chapel. Condolences may be shared on our website.
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