Howard Turner, former President and Chief Executive Officer of Turner Construction Company, Dies at 100

May 01, 2012

We are deeply saddened to inform you that Howard Turner, former President and Chief Executive Officer of Turner Construction Company, died on April 25th, 2012 at the age of 100. 

Howard was the nephew of Henry Turner, who founded Turner Construction Company in 1902, and the son of J. Archer Turner, Jr. who was President of Turner Construction Company from 1941 to 1946. Howard graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Swarthmore College in 1933. He completed a doctorate in organic chemistry and chemical engineering in 1936 from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Upon graduation, Howard joined the DuPont Corporation as a research chemist where he worked on novel uses of a new synthetic material – nylon – for such things as parachutes and food packaging. He then joined Pittsburgh Consolidation Coal Company in 1946 to lead their new research and development division. In 1954, Howard joined Jones & Laughlin Steel Company as the Vice President of research and development.

Howard joined Turner’s Board of Directors in 1952. In 1965, he was selected to serve as President of Turner Construction Company. He served as President and Chief Executive Officer from 1968 to 1971. Howard served as Chairman of the Board from 1971 to 1978. From 1978 to 1982, Howard served as Chairman of the Executive Committee.

Under his leadership, the company grew from seven offices in the United States to operations in 20 cities; the company’s community affairs program was formalized and the Turner School of Construction Management for minorities and women was established; and the company’s international division was launched with operations in four countries. The company's sales grew from $591 million in 1965 to $1.7 billion by 1978.

On the occasion of Howard’s retirement from Turner, he said, “To lead this company, itself a leader among builders, has been an honor and an exciting opportunity for which I am most grateful. Turner has always been known for its depth of talent, regularly fed from the best of each year’s college graduates. The company’s growth will, as in the past, be based on the character and high standards of the Turner staff, its commitment to serve its clients and the satisfaction all Turner people feel in making a contribution to building lasting monuments of our civilization.”

As our company prepares to celebrate its 110th anniversary, we honor Howard for his leadership, integrity, and for his valued friendship and mentorship.  

Howard will be missed by all that knew him. 

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