Taylor was an astronaut. He participated in a mission into deep space, but his vessel crashed on what he believed to be an alien world. Taylor found the world populated by simians and humans, with humans being mute and subservient. Eventually he came across a buried Statue of Liberty and realized that he had landed on Earth. George Taylor met a human woman who became his companion and two sympathetic chimpanzees, Cornelius and Zira, and a friendly orangutan, Doctor Zaius.
Until he encountered a landing party from the USS Enterprise, he assumed he was the last human who could speak; at first he thought the Enterprise crewmembers were the apes sneaking up on his encampment.
Taylor was proficient with firearms and unsuccessfully attempted to convince Starfleet Captain James Kirk to help fight the simian rule. Eventually he secretly knocked out Pavel Chekov and took the Starfleet officer's communicator. (TOS - The Primate Directive comic: "Issue 2")