Richard Lee Taylor (April 3, 1744 – January 19, 1829) was an American Revolutionary War Continental Army Officer. He born in Orange County, Virginia. He graduated from the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia.
In 1769 he explored the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers with his older brother, Hancock Taylor, travelling from Pittsburgh to New Orleans. At the outbreak of the American Revolutionary War, he became a 2nd lieutenant in the Virginia Continental forces in February 1775, and fought in the battles of White Plains in New York, Trenton in New Jersey, Brandywine in Pennsylvania, and Monmouth in New Jersey.
In September 1781 he was discharged at the rank of lieutenant colonel. He acquired 8,000 acres throughout Kentucky and built his home "Springfield" on part of the land, known today as the Zachary Taylor House.
During the Northwest Indian War (1785 to 1795, also known as Little Turtle's War), he served as a volunteer in the Kentucky militia and was injured in a disastrous 1792 battle with the Native Americans under Chief Little Turtle near Fort St. Clair, site of the present-day Eaton, Ohio.
After 1800 he remained active in Kentucky politics for the rest of his life. He died at his home at the age of 84. He was the father of Zachary Taylor, the 12th President of the US, and Joseph Pannell Taylor, who served as a general in the Union Army during the Civil War.