Oldest Living Pro Football Players

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Howard Hunter Turner


Howard Turner

Date of Birth: May 4, 1897, in Macomb, Illinois

Date of Death: November 17, 1976, in Roseburg, Oregon (79 years old)


Article in the Rockford, Illinois newspaper of 10/04/23 mentions him being

signed by the Milwaukee Badgers.

Birth and death data came from SSDI, the Oregon death index and Phi Delt

fraternity bulletin.

Did you know?

We believe James Alfonso 'Buddy' Turner, who was a African American halfback at

Northwestern University in 1922 and that most sources list as the player on the 1923

Milwaukee Badgers was actually Howard Turner from Lombard College.  Given the

times, most references to a black player was prefaced by 'colored' or 'Negro' or

something similar.  We didn't find any reference to the Turner who played for Milwaukee

Badgers being black.  Also, Buddy Turner was badly injured in a game at Northwestern,

which probably ended his career.  In the years after Northwestern, Buddy Turner

became a teacher in Evanston, married another teacher, and she died in 1925.

James 'Buddy' Turner died four years later on May 10, 1929 at the age of 30.


An article in the October 4, 1923 Rockford Daily Register-Gazette mentioned Howard

Turner, a halfback with Lombard College the previous two years, had signed a contract

with the Milwaukee Badgers, and was reporting to them the following Sunday, and

would play for them the rest of the year.

Howard Turner became a high school football coach in Roseburg, Oregon, where he

died in 1976.



1923 Milwaukee Badgers (NFL)


Lombard College