BBI founder and vend broker pioneer Robert Taylor Sr. dies at 88

Sept. 14, 2021

Burdette Beckmann Inc.’s founder and former chief executive Robert “Bob” Taylor Sr. died on Sep. 11, according to a post at BBI’s website. He was 88.

Taylor’s career spanned 55 years. He worked with Liggett & Myers Tobacco Co. before joining the agency business. He was president and chief executive of Burdette Beckmann, a leading consumer goods brokerage founded in 1955, and a lifetime emeritus of the company. BBI is headquartered in Ft. Lauderdale, FL, and has additional offices around the country.

The BBI leader received multiple awards during his career. He was inducted into the Candy Hall of Fame in 1995 and received the Florida Tobacco & Candy Association Bear Award and the AWMA Candy Ambassador honor. Dozens of product manufacturers recognized Taylor as the broker and/or salesperson of the year, many times over.

"All of us at Burdette Beckmann Inc. are deeply saddened by the loss of our friend,” said BBI president Pat Grant. “Senior impacted so many lives with his positive and loving approach. Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife Sherry and his family.”

Taylor was born Dec. 12, 1932, in Brooks County, GA. He attended Quitman High School, lettering in basketball, baseball and football all four years. On two state champion teams, he earned a football scholarship to Florida State University. He also attended Valdosta State College and Georgia State College. He was a Sergeant in the U.S. Army Signal Corps, a branch that manages and creates communications systems, and served in the Korean War.

He is survived by his wife Sherry Taylor; son Robert Taylor Jr.; daughter Robin Fleming; grandchildren Shelby, Brantley, Wilson; and a great grandson.

“We appreciate the support and kindness of those who share our feelings for Robert Taylor Sr. and are truly focusing on the many years and great times we had with an amazing father and terrific company leader,” said BBI chief executive Robert Taylor Jr.

A celebration of Robert Taylor Sr.’s life will take place on Saturday, Sep. 18, at 2 p.m., at the Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church (5555 N Federal Hwy., Fort Lauderdale, FL 33308) followed by a reception. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the two charities of his choice: Sheridan House Ministries and Habitat for Humanity of Broward. 

Livestream will be available for those who are unable to attend by visiting and click on “Watch Live” on the date and time of the event.