Pete Turnham

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Pete B. Turnham
Member of the Alabama House of Representatives
from the 79th district
In office
Personal details
Born (1921-01-01) January 1, 1921 (age 97)
Penton, Alabama, U.S.
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Netye Kathryn Earnest
(m. 1943)
Alma mater Auburn University
Profession travelling salesman, education advocate
Military service
Service/branch United States Army
Years of service 1944–1959
Rank Captain
Battles/wars World War II

Pete Benton Turnham (born January 1, 1921) is a former politician in the American state of Alabama.[1]

Turnham was born in Penton, Alabama to Joseph Henry and Fannie May (née Sessions) Turnham. After attending schools in Abanda, Alabama and Milltown, Alabama, he attended Auburn University (then Alabama Polytechnic Institute). He served in the United States Army during World War II where he also attended the University of Paris. He would later retire as a Captain in the Infantry Reserve in 1959, having commanded combat infantry units in Europe during the war. For his service he was awarded a Bronze Star.[2][3] After the war at attended classes at Pennsylvania State University, and was employed by the Marshall and Bruce Company, as a sales representative.[3]

Turnham started off his political career as a member of the Lee County School Board, from which he served from 1955 to 1958. In 1958 he was elected to the Alabama House of Representatives, representing Lee County (district 79), as a Democrat.[3] He would serve until 1998, with his 40 years being the longest in the state's history.[4] He was known for introducing legislation regarding education and agriculture, and upon completion of his term was bestowed the term "Dean of the Alabama Legislature" in recognition of his long service in a resolution.[5][6] During his time he also served, among many, on the Education Committee and as Vice-Chairman of the Ways and Means Committee.[7]

He is married to Netye Kathryn Earnest and has four children with her, including Alabama politician Joe Turnham. He is a Baptist and, as of 2014, resides in Auburn. During his legislative term he also served as president of Alabama Contract Sales. He was also associated with the Gamma Sigma Delta Honor Society of Agriculture and Phi Delta Kappa Honor Society of Education.[3][7] He was recognized by his alma mater, Auburn University, in 1998 with the Legislative Action Network with its first ever Legislative Tiger Award. In 2003, he was honoured by the Alabama Agricultural Hall.[6] The Alabama Association for Public and Continuing Adult Education's Pete Turnham Scholarship is named after him.[8]


  1. ^ "Our Campaigns - Candidate - Pete Turnham". Retrieved 14 January 2014. 
  2. ^ "City of Auburn | Veterans". Retrieved 2014-04-04. 
  3. ^ a b c d
  4. ^ Burkhalter, B.B. (2010). The Generation That Saved America: Surviving the Great Depression. AuthorHouse. ISBN 9781452031422. Retrieved 14 January 2014. 
  5. ^ "searchableinstruments/1998%20regular%20session/Resolutions/HR513". Retrieved 14 January 2014. 
  6. ^ a b
  7. ^ a b "City of Auburn – Veterans". Retrieved 14 January 2014. 
  8. ^ "Pete Turnham Scholarship". Retrieved 14 January 2014.