Jill Bolte Taylor (/ˈbɒlti/; born May 4, 1959) is an American neuroanatomist, author, and inspirational public speaker.
Bolte Taylor at TED, 2008
Born: May 4, 1959 (age 61), Louisville, Kentucky, U.S.
Nationality: United States
Terre Haute South Vigo High School, B.A. Indiana University, Ph.D. Indiana State University, Postdoctoral studies at Harvard Medical School (Depts of Psychiatry and Neuroscience)
Work in neuroanatomy
"A blood vessel exploded in the left half of my brain...", Jill Bolte Taylor, TED Talk
Bolte Taylor began to study about severe mental illnesses because she wanted to understand what makes the brain function the way it does and the cause between her dreams being distinguished from reality while her brother cannot disconnect his dreams from reality, making them a delusion. Dr. Taylor began working in a lab in Boston where they were mapping out the brain to figure out which cells communicate with which cells. On December 10, 1996, Dr. Taylor had a stroke — a blood vessel had erupted on the left side of her brain. She had been able to witness her own brain begin to shut down. Within a span of four hours, she could not speak, read, walk, write or remember anything from her past. Dr. Taylor compares her stroke to being like an infant again.
Her personal experience with a massive stroke, experienced in 1996 at the age of 37, and her subsequent eight-year recovery, influenced her work as a scientist and speaker. It is the subject of her 2006 book My Stroke of Insight, A Brain Scientist's Personal Journey. She gave the first TED talk that ever went viral on the Internet, after which her book became a NY Times bestseller and was published in 30 languages.
Bolte Taylor's training is in the postmortem investigation of the human brain as it relates to schizophrenia and the severe mental illnesses. For her book and public outreach related to strokes, in May 2008 she was named to Time Magazine's 2008 Time 100 list of the 100 most influential people in the world. "My Stroke of Insight" received the top "Books for a Better Life" Book Award in the Science category from the New York City Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society on February 23, 2009 in New York City.
Taylor at the 2016 Butler University commencement, where she received an honorary degree
Bolte Taylor founded the nonprofit Jill Bolte Taylor Brains, Inc., she is affiliated with the Indiana University School of Medicine, and she is the national spokesperson for the Harvard Brain Tissue Resource Center.
On December 10, 1996, Bolte Taylor woke up to discover that she was experiencing a stroke. The cause proved to be bleeding from an abnormal congenital connection between an artery and a vein in the left hemisphere of her brain, an arteriovenous malformation (AVM). Three weeks later, on December 27, 1996, she underwent major brain surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) to remove a golf ball-sized clot that was placing pressure on the language centers in the left hemisphere of her brain.
My Stroke of Insight
Following her experience with stroke, in 2006 Bolte Taylor came out with the initial edition of her book My Stroke of Insight: A Brain Scientist's Personal Journey, about her recovery from the stroke and the insights she has gained into the workings of her brain because of it.
Bolte Taylor's February 2008 TED Conference talk about her memory of the stroke became an Internet sensation, resulting in widespread attention and interest around the world. It became the second most viewed TED talk of all time. The next edition of the book quickly emerged as a best-seller.
After Bolte Taylor's representative, transmedia agent and attorney Ellen Stiefler, conducted an auction for worldwide publishing rights to "My Stroke of Insight," Penguin won the book. and it was published in hardcover in May 2008, debuting near the top of the New York Times Non-fiction Hardcover Bestseller list. "My Stroke of Insight" spent seventeen weeks on the New York Times Bestseller Lists, reaching number 4. My Stroke of Insight is also available in paperback, large print, audio book, and for some tablets.
My Stroke of Insight is available in over 30 languages. 
Subsequently, Bolte Taylor appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show on October 21, 2008. In her later commencement address at Duke University on May 10, 2009, Oprah Winfrey quoted Bolte Taylor's assertion that "You are responsible for the energy that you bring" in encouraging the students to assume this same responsibility in their future lives. Bolte Taylor was the first guest featured on Oprah's Soul Series webcast on Oprah.com and Satellite radio show.