George P. Turner papers
Held at: University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts [Contact Us]3420 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6206
This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.
Overview and metadata sections
George P. Turner, born in Dallas, Texas, on August 22, 1915, was the son of Fred Horatio and Florence (Phillips) Turner. He graduated from North Dallas High School in June, 1932, and attended the University of Texas, Austin, sporadically from 1932 to 1941, with work at Southern Methodist University in Dallas Texas in 1934, focusing his studies on architecture.
As a result of the onset of World War II, Turner entered the United States Army Air Force, serving from 1941 to 1945. He served on air bases in Arizona and California and appears to have served as a flight instructor for at least some time.
In the late 1940s, Turner began working in the field of architecture in Los Angeles; but he quickly turned to positions in which he provided services in engineering, construction, and planning in the fields of architectural design, housing and urban development, engineering and construction industries. He worked through the 1950s at Lieburg & Turner as a principal consultant engineer from 1947 to 1948; at Radiant Heat Engineering as president from 1948 to 1953; at the South America Fluor Corporation, Ltd., as executive assistant to director foreign subsidiaries from 1953 to 1954; at Coast Federal Savings & Loan Association as member of executive staff from 1954 to 1955; at Holmes & Narvar, Inc., as executive staff from 1955 to 1961; and at Southwestern Engineering Company, as manager of project development for South American operations in 1962.
Turner focused his attention on Latin America in 1962; and over the next thirty years, he was deeply involved in bringing tourism and economic development to the area, in particular to the Dominican Republic. His positions included: projects programmer for the National Planning Institute Peru Tri-Partite Mission from 1962 to 1965; advisor on technical assistance to Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, Peru, and Brazil for the Organization of American States from 1962 to 1968; president of Haney Development Corporation from 1964 to 1990; consultant, director of projects, programming and technical matters to the Mission Recovery and Rehabilitation in the Dominican Republic from 1965 to 1967; advisor to the provisional president, and subsequently, constitutional president of the republic of the Dominican Republic from 1965 to 1968; Organization of American States advisor to the National Tourism Office of the Dominican Republic from 1966 to 1967; president of Fomento e Inversiones Quisqueyanos C. por A., Santo Domindo de Guzman, Dominican Republic from 1967 to 1998; deputy director of Technology Assistance Mission for the Dominican Republic from 1967 to 1968; general manager for Venezuelan operations for Hale International, Inc. from 1970 to 1971; director and manager for the Consortium Lomas de La Lagunita and Consortium Desarrollos Urbanos in 1970; and consultant for the Inter-American Training Center at the Federal University of Ceara in Brazil. Because all these activities largely overlap in years, it appears that Turner's work overlapped significantly—and that he frequently dealt with the same organization, people, corporations and issues under multiple official positions. As a result of his experience working with the development of tourism, aid following natural disasters, and development of industry in Latin America, Turner sought candidacy for the Department of Foreign Affairs during the Nixon administration; but was unsuccessful.
Turner returned to working in the United States in the 1970s and 1980s; and his positions included: consultant for Capital Investment Development Corporation from 1971 to 1978; president of Urban Planning and Development Corporation from 1978 to 1979; consultant, corporate secretary and vice president for Integrated Industries, Inc. from 1978 to 1991; president of Kay Pearce & Turner, Ltd., from 1981, possibly until his death; president of Caribbean Vagabond Ltd., from 1981 to 1990; limited partner in Marsh Creek Associations Two from 1985 to 1998; and faculty at Columbia Pacific University in 1987.
Turner married June Loree Haney (daughter of Milton P. Haney) on February 4, 1943, and they were the parents of Bruce, Brian, and Mark. The entire family was involved in the business, especially in the operations of Haney Development Corporation.
George and June Turner divorced in 1976 and George married Kathryn Blank Hauf. Turner appears to have been politically active, leaning towards Republicanism and anti-communism. His thoughts on politics, economic development, and tourism are found throughout the collection, but very strongly within his writings.
This collection documents the evolution of Latin American countries following the revolution in the Dominican Republic in 1955. Turner appears to have developed an affection for the Dominican Republic and his work seems to cross over both the personal and professional realms as he worked to promote the countries beauty and economic viability in the world market.
This collection largely documents George P. Turner's professional life as a development economist and specialist in the implementation of economic and social development programs. His career appears to have been his passion and as a result, there is significant overlap between his work and family members (who worked for many of the companies he founded), friendships, personal writings, and politics. The collection is arranged in five series: I. Education; II. World War II service in the United States Army Air Force; III. Career and professional activities; IV. Writings; and V. Personal and family material.
Series I. Education includes material ranging from high school to his doctoral work, with the vast majority documenting his work at both University of Southern California (from which he earned both his bachelor of arts and master of science in international relations/public administration) and Columbia Pacific University (from which he earned his doctorate). It does not appear that he completed his degree in architecture from University of Texas. At the University of Southern California, his education focused on programs of domestic and foreign development programs, international relations and foreign affairs related to development policies and their implementation, foreign and domestic aid programs and institutions, host country administration and accounting, economic and marketing problems of development, and import and export trade. He translated these skills to his work in Latin America from the early 1960s through the 1990s. This series includes certificates and a diploma, academic work such as papers and his dissertations, and material related to the graduation ceremony for Columbia Pacific University.
Series II. World War II Service in the United States Army Air Force provides training manuals and relatively official documentation of his service at airfields in Arizona and California. There is virtually no material that provides insights into his experiences; instead these records show the sort of training an air cadet received as well as they types of equipment and supplies an air cadet was issued. It appears that the United States Army Air Force recognized his skills as an architect and he provided specifications for improvements for air field buildings at Kingman Army Airfield in Arizona. He also appears to have served as an instructor for a period of time.
Series III. Career and professional activities documents Turner's very long and complicated career. His early career is fairly straightforward: he worked one job at a time in the fields of architecture and engineering from the late 1940s through 1962. Once he began working in Latin America, he frequently held multiple roles in multiple governmental agencies or companies during the same time period, resulting in a very overlapping set of records. The processer has, to the best of their ability, organized these files in relation to the organization for which Turner worked; however it is important to note that folders frequently contain letterhead from as many as three or four different agencies or companies with which Turner was associated. When Turner applied a label indicating an agency or company in connection with the files, that label was maintained.
After his return to working in the United States, in the 1970s through the 1990s, Turner continued to diversify his work—holding consulting positions and vice presidencies at multiple companied during the same period. His work during this time tended to focus more on developing business complexes and other infrastructure.
This series is arranged in rough chronological order of positions held (please see biographical note for a list of positions and their dates). Information regarding the type of work completed by specific agencies and companies can be found in the container list.
By and large, this series contains correspondence, contracts, reports (some prepared by Turner and others prepared more professionally), and program plans. Turner appears to have saved his research for his work and therefore, researchers will find a multitude of newspaper clippings, journal articles, governmental publications, and promotional material for companies offering services that Turner wanted to either employ or duplicate. Across the board, Turner's work in Latin America related to economic development, diplomatic and economic recovery following government unrest and natural disaster, and the development of tourism and educational opportunities, especially in the Dominican Republic.
Series IV. Writings is organized into both nonfiction and fiction. During the 1950s, Turner wrote a number of articles (and possibly dabbled in politics) that there is evidence that he tried to publish his writings. For the most part, he appears to have been unsuccessful in his efforts, but the writings are possibly one of the most personal components of the collection, providing insight into his thoughts on communism, economics, and the business opportunities for Americans in Latin America. Some of his writings are attributed to "Diogenes," but the address clearly indicates that Turner was the author. This series also contains a small amount of fiction, some of which is assumed to have been authored by Turner. It does not appear that any of this material was published.
The final series, V. Personal and family material contains material from both of Turner's marriages (both June and Kathryn) as well as his three sons, Bruce, Brian, and Mark. There are numerous photographs, almost all of which are unlabeled, and almost all of which are presumably of the extended family. The series contains some ephemera from travel to Europe as well as a small amount from Latin America and Washington, DC.
This series also contains a small amount of personal material documenting June Turner's education, extended family, and her own efforts at writing fiction. Some of these manuscript drafts were submitted for publication but do not appear to have been accepted. Researchers interested in the relationships between Turner and his wife, June, and their sons, Bruce, Brian, and Mark will be best served looking at the family letters that were exchanged while Turner lived in Peru (box 4, folders 2-5) and the Dominican Republic (box 9, folder 3). Because Turner created companies that employed June and his sons, material relating to the family can be found throughout his professional materials, in particular, within the Haney Development Corporation material.
Gift of George P. Turner, 2001.
- Fomento e Inversiones Quisqueyanos C. por A.
- Haney Development Corporation
- Organization of American States
- University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts
- Finding Aid Author
- Holly Mengel
- Finding Aid Date
- 2020 April 20
- Access Restrictions
This collection is open for research use.
- Use Restrictions
Copyright restrictions may exist. For most library holdings, the Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania do not hold copyright. It is the responsibility of the requester to seek permission from the holder of the copyright to reproduce material from the Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts.