Boxing Legend Turner Celebrates 100th Birthday

Earl Turner (right)
Earl Turner (right)
Matt Dunaway
Matt Dunaway

BATON ROUGE – LSU boxing legend Earl Turner celebrated his 100th birthday on Sunday with a large party of family and friends.

Turner, a native of Slaughter, was a three-year letterwinner on the LSU boxing team from 1934-36 and served as team captain during his senior season in 1936. He totaled an 8-1-0 record which included undefeated seasons in 1934 and 1935. The Tigers won their first SEC championship in 1935.

Turner graduated from LSU in 1936 with a degree in chemical engineering. That same year, he also was a ROTC company commander and was commissioned a 2 Lt. in the US Army Reserves upon graduation. He married his ROTC sponsor the late Tennie Mae King and went to work at Standard Oil now EXXON/MOBILE in Baton Rouge. 

Turner’s reserve unit was activated in 1941. He was stationed in Washington, D.C. as the Headquarters Liaison Officer for Chemical Warfare and attained the rank of Major.  In that capacity, Turner helped design and build the Pine Bluff Arsenal in Arkansas and help coordinate the activities of the other chemical warfare units. 

Turner was released from active duty in 1945 and went back to Baton Rouge to work again at EXXON in the research lab. During this time, he was in Colorado in the 1960's working on the first oil shale project and later in Libya to help design and build the EXXON plant in that country. 

Turner stayed in the reserves and retired from the US Army in 1965 as a Lt. Colonel.  In 1973, he retired from EXXON and married Daisy Bankston Turner in 1975. They have spent over 30 years traveling the world to over 40 countries on five continents. 

Turner is a longtime member of the National “L” Club, the LSU Alumni Association and numerous professional and civic organizations. He has two sons, Dr. Earl E. Turner, Jr. of Baton Rouge and Bruce K. Turner, Esq of Denhan Springs and a step-daughter Dedra French of Seneca, S.C.




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