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The Honorable Sylvester Turner

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Information about The Honorable Sylvester Turner

Profile image of The Honorable Sylvester Turner

Profession

Category:
PoliticalMakers
LawMakers
Occupation(s):
Mayor
State Representative
Lawyer

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue
Favorite Food:
Spaghetti, Ox Tails
Favorite Time of Year:
Spring, Summer
Favorite Vacation Spot:
South Africa
Favorite Quote:
I Can Do All Things Through Christ That Strengthens Me.

Birthplace

Born:
9/27/1954
Birth Location:
Houston, Texas

Profession

Category:
PoliticalMakers
LawMakers
Occupation(s):
Mayor
State Representative
Lawyer

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue
Favorite Food:
Spaghetti, Ox Tails
Favorite Time of Year:
Spring, Summer
Favorite Vacation Spot:
South Africa
Favorite Quote:
I Can Do All Things Through Christ That Strengthens Me.

Birthplace

Born:
9/27/1954
Birth Location:
Houston
See how The Honorable Sylvester Turner is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

State representative and lawyer Sylvester Turner was born on September 27, 1954 in Acres Homes, Texas. His mother was a maid at the Rice Hotel and his father, a commercial painter. Turner was raised with eight brothers and sisters. In 1973, he graduated as the valedictorian of Klein High School. Four years later, Turner received his B.A. degree in political science from the University of Houston, after which he attended Harvard Law School, where he received his J.D. degree in 1980.

Turner was hired at the Houston-based law firm Fulbright & Jaworski. After three years, Turner left and formed his own law firm with partner Barry M. Barnes. Barnes & Turner specialize in corporate and commercial law. In 1984, Turner ran for a Harris County Commissioner seat, but he lost to El Franco Lee. In 1988, he won the seat in the Texas House of Representatives for District 139, a mostly minority district. Turner also taught at the Thurgood Marshall School of Law at Texas Southern University, the South Texas College of Law, and at the University of Houston Law School’s continuing legal education program. He also ran for the mayor of Houston twice, once in 1991 where he lost in a hotly contested race, and again in 2003, where he lost to Bill White. In 2003, Turner became the Speaker Pro Tempore in the Texas House of Representatives, a post he held until 2009. His major legislative accomplishment, HB 109, expanded access to the children’s health insurance program and was passed in 2007.

Turner sits on the State Affairs committee and is the Vice Chair of the Appropriations Committee. He is also on the Subcommittee on the Current Fiscal Condition. He is a member of Brookhollow Baptist Church and has one daughter, Ashley Paige Turner.

Sylvester Turner was interviewed by The HistoryMakers<\em> on August 15, 2012.

See how The Honorable Sylvester Turner is related to other HistoryMakers
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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of The Honorable Sylvester Turner's interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - The Honorable Sylvester Turner lists his favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - The Honorable Sylvester Turner describes his mother's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - The Honorable Sylvester Turner describes his father's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - The Honorable Sylvester Turner remembers working with his dad
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - The Honorable Sylvester Turner describes his parents' personalities and who he takes after
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - The Honorable Sylvester Turner talks about his roots in Chappell Hill, Texas
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - The Honorable Sylvester Turner lists his siblings
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - The Honorable Sylvester Turner remembers the Acres Homes community in Houston, Texas
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - The Honorable Sylvester Turner talks about his experiences of school integration in Houston, Texas, pt. 1
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - The Honorable Sylvester Turner talks about his experiences of school integration in Houston, Texas, pt. 2
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - The Honorable Sylvester Turner talks about African American political representation in Houston, Texas
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - The Honorable Sylvester Turner describes the African American community in Houston, Texas
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - The Honorable Sylvester Turner describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - The Honorable Sylvester Turner remembers the Bethel Baptist Church in Houston, Texas
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - The Honorable Sylvester Turner recalls his influential teachers
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - The Honorable Sylvester Turner remembers being bused to an all-white school
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - The Honorable Sylvester Turner describes his experiences of school integration
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - The Honorable Sylvester Turner talks about his early ambitions
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - The Honorable Sylvester Turner describes the demographics of Klein High School in Houston, Texas
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - The Honorable Sylvester Turner recalls his influences at the Bethel Baptist Church in Houston, Texas
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - The Honorable Sylvester Turner talks about his community in Houston, Texas
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - The Honorable Sylvester Turner remembers his valedictorian speech
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - The Honorable Sylvester Turner remembers his father's death
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - The Honorable Sylvester Turner recalls his decision to attend the University of Houston in Houston, Texas
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - The Honorable Sylvester Turner recalls his early aspiration to become a lawyer
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - The Honorable Sylvester Turner talks about his decision to attend the Harvard Law School
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - The Honorable Sylvester Turner remembers his friendships with Leroy Hassell
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - The Honorable Sylvester Turner talks about his social life at Harvard Law School
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - The Honorable Sylvester Turner remembers Derrick A. Bell, Jr.
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - The Honorable Sylvester Turner talks about the faculty of the Harvard Law School
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - The Honorable Sylvester Turner remembers his club football team at Harvard University
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - The Honorable Sylvester Turner recalls hearing a female preacher for the first time
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - The Honorable Sylvester Turner recalls his internship at Fulbright and Jaworski LLP in Houston, Texas
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - The Honorable Sylvester Turner describes a memorable legal case
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - The Honorable Sylvester Turner remembers founding Barnes and Turner LLP
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - The Honorable Sylvester Turner remembers losing his first political campaign
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - The Honorable Sylvester Turner remembers his campaign for the Texas House of Representatives
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - The Honorable Sylvester Turner recalls his election to the Texas House of Representatives
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - The Honorable Sylvester Turner talks about his interest in healthcare reform
  • Tape: 5 Story: 8 - The Honorable Sylvester Turner recalls arguing a civil suit against the Phillips Petroleum Company
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - The Honorable Sylvester Turner remembers his first campaign for the mayoralty of Houston, Texas
  • Tape: 6 Story: 2 - The Honorable Sylvester Turner talks about the aftermath of the 1991 mayoral election in Houston, Texas
  • Tape: 6 Story: 3 - The Honorable Sylvester Turner remembers Lee P. Brown
  • Tape: 6 Story: 4 - The Honorable Sylvester Turner talks about politics in Texas
  • Tape: 6 Story: 5 - The Honorable Sylvester Turner talks about political redistricting in Texas
  • Tape: 6 Story: 6 - The Honorable Sylvester Turner describes his legislative achievements
  • Tape: 6 Story: 7 - The Honorable Sylvester Turner remembers his second campaign for the mayoralty of Houston, Texas
  • Tape: 6 Story: 8 - The Honorable Sylvester Turner remembers the passage of Texas House Bill 109
  • Tape: 7 Story: 1 - The Honorable Sylvester Turner remembers meeting President Barack Obama
  • Tape: 7 Story: 2 - The Honorable Sylvester Turner describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community
  • Tape: 7 Story: 3 - The Honorable Sylvester Turner talks about his work in the Acres Homes section of Houston, Texas
  • Tape: 7 Story: 4 - The Honorable Sylvester Turner reflects upon his legacy
  • Tape: 7 Story: 5 - The Honorable Sylvester Turner talks about his family
  • Tape: 7 Story: 6 - The Honorable Sylvester Turner reflects upon his life
  • Tape: 7 Story: 7 - The Honorable Sylvester Turner describes how he would like to be remembered