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1981 Horatio Alger Award Winner

Basil S. Turner*


"Our values come from religion, and we achieve that purpose by using our God-given talents."

Basil Turner was born in a log cabin in Muhlenberg County, Kentucky, in 1908. He didn't start school until he was seven because there wasn't a school house until then. Turner was the first from his district to graduate from high school. With a $150 annual loan, Turner attended Purdue University where he earned a degree in electrical engineering in 1930.

He joined Chicago Telephone Supply Company in Elkhart, Indiana, where he worked for 52 years. He rose through the company, job by job, until he was named president and CEO. He went on to serve as chairman. When he retired in 1970, the company had 13 manufacturing subsidiaries that provided worldwide distribution of electronic components for radio and television manufacturers. In his later years, Turner established a vocational education center in Elkhart.

* Deceased