Eugene Turner

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For the American jurist and legislator, see Eugene S. Turner.
Eugene Turner
Eugene Turner SpreadEagle.jpg
Personal information
Country represented United States

November 26, 1920

Los Angeles, California

January 14, 2010(2010-01-14) (aged 89)

Yountville,(Napa) California
Former partner Donna Atwood (pairs)
Elizabeth Kennedy (ice dancing)
Skating club Los Angeles FSC

Eugene Turner (November 26, 1920 – January 14, 2010)[1] was an American champion figure skater who competed in single skating, pair skating and ice dancing. He also coached professionally for 60 years, skated in films and authored skating works. He was born and raised in Los Angeles, California where he graduated from John Marshall High School, and spent most of his life and career in Northern California.

Skating career[edit]

Turner won the men's singles title at the 1940 and 1941 United States Figure Skating Championships. Also in 1941, he became the first skater to medal in three disciplines at one U.S. Championship, adding the pairs title with Donna Atwood and the silver medal in ice dancing with Elizabeth Kennedy. Self-taught with the Los Angeles Figure Skating Club, he was the first skater from west of the Mississippi River to win a U.S. senior title.

Turner did not appear in the Winter Olympics or World Championships which were subject to worldwide cancellation from 1940 to 1946 due to World War II and post-war rebuilding. During the war, Turner served as a lieutenant in the U.S. Army Air Forces, piloting a single seat P-47 Thunderbolt from bases in France for over 60 missions against German forces. After the war, he became a coach and skated professionally.[2]

Turner partnered with Sonja Henie during her tour and in Iceland in 1942. He also performed as a skating double for Cary Grant in The Bishop's Wife in 1948, and for Patric Knowles in the Abbott & Costello comedy, Hit the Ice in 1943.

As a coach, he taught or set programs for Allen Schramm, Dudley Richards, Karol Kennedy, Peter Kennedy, Catherine Machado, Richard Dwyer, Tim Brown, Andree Anderson , Lorin O'Neil Caccamise, and Tenley Albright.[1][2] He authored one book, "The Skaters," and Skating magazine carried his columns in the 1980s.[2][3]

Eugene Turner was inducted into the United States Figure Skating Hall of Fame in 1983 and the Professional Skaters Association Coaches Hall of Fame in 2012.[4]


(men's singles)

Event 1939 1940 1941
North American Championships 2nd
U.S. Championships 3rd 1st 1st

(pairs with Donna Atwood)

Event 1941
North American Championships 2nd
U.S. Championships 1st

(ice dance with Elizabeth Kennedy)

Event 1941
U.S. Championships 2nd


  1. ^ a b "U.S. Hall of Fame Member Eugene Turner Passes Away", U.S. Figure Skating (website)[1]
  2. ^ a b c "History of the Los Angeles Figure Skating Club", by Virginia Vale, club newsletter, 1982 (from LAFSC website)
  3. ^ Ellyn Kestnbaum (2003). Culture on ice: figure skating & cultural meaning, Middleton, CT: Wesleyan University Press ISBN 0-8195-6642-X [2]
  4. ^ Hall of Fame inductees Archived September 5, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.

External links[edit]