Sandra C. Taylor was born in Sacramento, California. She earned a B.A. from Stanford University in 1958 and an M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Colorado. From 1966 to 2001, she was a professor of History at the University of Utah, specializing in American diplomatic history and the history of the Vietnam war. Shortly before her retirement, she took an assignment as a Fulbright Professor for four months in Moscow, teaching the history of the Cold War. She was the author of numerous articles and several books.