Robert Turchin, philanthropist, dies at 90

Feb. 17, 2013 at 3:08 PM
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MIAMI, Feb. 17 (UPI) -- Robert L. Turchin, the namesake of a Tulane University baseball stadium and business library, died peacefully at the age of 90, his family said.

Turchin, who was born on Feb. 22, 1922, died Thursday in Miami Beach, Florida , the New Orleans Time-Picayune reported.

Turchin, who was an athlete in college and received his bachelor's degree in business administration from the New Orleans university, was born in New York but his family moved to Miami Beach in 1930 and Turchin made his lifelong home there, the Times-Picayune reported.

Turchin's wedding plans to Lillian Athey, whom he met in New Orleans, were interrupted by his Navy service in World War II immediately after graduation from Tulane. A lieutenant and chief gunnery officer, he fought in the Normandy Invasion and later in the Pacific theater, the newspaper said.

He incorporated Robert L. Turchin, Inc., in 1949 and was the company's president and director for 36 years, the newspaper reported.

Turchin served as a Miami Beach city councilman from 1963 to 1965 and was vice-mayor from 1965 to 1967.

Turchin was honored in 1983 with Tulane's business school's Distinguished Alumnus Award for his generosity. He also donated generously to Appalachian State University. He served on the business school's President's Council and the Dean's Advisory Council and was chairman of the Tulane Alumni Regional Fund.

In 1991, Tulane dedicated a new baseball stadium, Turchin Stadium, in honor of Turchin and his wife, and four years later, a new business library was named for them as well.

Turchin is survived by his wife, five children and nine grandchildren.

The funeral will be held Sunday at Temple Israel in Miami.

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