Ronald “Boots” E. Taylor was born in Pickford, Michigan, and graduated from Oak Park-River Forest High School in Oak Park, Illinois, where he lettered in football, basketball and baseball, and captained the 1928-29 cagers.

Following a year of freshman basketball at Carleton, “Boots” started every game for three years on what Twin City sportswriters dubbed the “Victory Five,” and was captain in his senior year. The teams he played on won 43 games and lost only five- all to Big Ten opponents. Included were wins over Iowa, Chicago, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Nebraska (twice) and DePaul. The teams he played on set Midwest Conference records of 33 consecutive home floor victories and an astounding 41 straight Midwest Conference wins. Though much of the media attention went to high scoring All-American Dick Arney ’33, Taylor was recognized as a fine shooter, a strong defensive player and the man who got Arney the ball. He was named All-Conference guard in both 1931-32 and 1932-33.