Mrs. Catherine Dorothea Taylor, nee' Sharpe was born in Birningham, England in 1914. She is the daughter of a Church of England missionary, who worked in various parts of South Africa, Lesotho and South West Africa. She was educated at the St Michael's School, Bloemfontein and St Mary's Diocesan School for girls, Pretoria. On leaving school she studied philosophy and languages at Bristol University and continued her studies in both France and Germany.
She was married to Dr Lance Taylor in Cape Town in 1939 and, on the outbreak of the war, returned to England with her husband who served as a doctor in the Armed Forces. On de-mobilization in 1946 she and her husband, as South African subjects, were repatriated and settled in the Cape. They have two sons.
From October 1950 to November 1952 Mrs. Taylor held the post of Confidential Secretary to the Editor of the Cape Argus.
Since 1948 Mrs. Taylor has taken a very active part in all aspects of the United Party work and has held numerous and responsible administrative posts in the Party, such as Chairman of the Cape Peninsula and Western Province Women's Council, Chairman of the Wynberg Divisional Committee, member of the Central Head Committee and Secretary of the Official Opposition's Coloured Affairs Group.
Mrs. Taylor became a member of the Cape Provincial IN 1954 and served as United Party Chief Whip for two years, before becoming Chairman of the Party Caucus and Deputy Provincial Leader.
In 1963 she entered Parliament as United Party representative for Wynberg and rose through the ranks of the Party to become Shadow Minister of Education from 1970 until 1973. The year 1974 marked her withdrawal from Parliament and her resignation from the Party.