Pat Taylor was born in Wadesboro, NC, on April 1, 1924, the son of Hoyt Patrick Taylor, who also served as Lieutenant Governor. The two are the only father-son pair to have held the office. The younger Taylor went on to receive undergraduate and law degrees from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and to serve in both World War II and the Korean War. He practiced law in Wadesboro and was elected to represent Anson County in the North Carolina House of Representatives from 1955 through 1967, serving his last two terms as speaker.
Taylor served as Lt. Governor from 1969 to 1973. He won the 1968 Democratic primary over Margaret Harper, the first major party woman to campaign for the post. He then went on to defeat St. Rep. Don H. Garren in the general election of 1968 by the narrowest margin in decades (55-45%). At the end of his term, Taylor ran as a Democratic candidate for Governor but was defeated in the runoff election by Skipper Bowles. He retired from electoral politics and resumed the practice of law, but he was one of many people who received votes for the Democratic Vice-Presidential nomination at the 1972 Democratic National Convention.