Patrick Henry Turner, a book designer and art director for a number of book and magazine publishers and who was most recently co-owner of Publishers Weekly, died on September 9 after a long battle with cancer. He was 71.
Born in Gaffney, S.C., Turner graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University in 1970 with a degree in commercial art. He began his career working for Harper & Row’s Hagerstown, Md., division and later joined Johns Hopkins University Press in Baltimore. In 1977, Turner worked for Springer Verlag in Germany, and returned to the U.S. in 1979 to work at Academic Press. He then began a career in the magazine field, working for PressCorps from 1995-2000 and Weider Communications from 2001-2004.
In 2005 Turner formed PHT Design, which he ran until 2010, at which point he and George Slowik Jr. formed PWxyz in order to acquire Publishers Weekly from Reed Business Information. Turner served as v-p of operations for PW, helping to set the future course of the book industry’s trade publication. Turner and Slowik were life partners, and were married in 2015.
Away from the office Turner was an ardent traveler, traveling to more than 70 countries. He was also a passionate theater and opera fan and loved spending time in his home on Fire Island, where he enjoyed demonstrating his gourmet cooking skills.
PW employees, especially longtime staffers, remember Turner for his warm nature and enthusiasm. Both made Patrick a welcomed presence in the office as he and Slowik led the turnaround of PW as an independent company following their 2010 purchase of the magazine, which had gone through a difficult period in the last few years of Reed ownership.
In addition to Slowik, survivors include his brother, Michael Richard Turner (Jenny) of Charlotte, N.C.; and his sister, Sally Turner Grindstaff (Jamie) of Gaffney. He is also survived by his nephew, Michael Allen Turner of Charlotte and his nieces, Amy Turner Ludwig (Chad) of Wilmington, N.C., and Leala Patrice Grindstaff of New York City, his great-niece Haley, and great-nephews Carson and Wyatt. In addition to his parents, Patrick was preceded in death by his sister, Sandra Turner Matthews.
A memorial service will be held at a later date in New York City. Donations in Turner’s memory can be made to the Tectonic Theater Project.