Virginia Storm Turner: El Paso Newspaperwoman

Virginia Storm Turner was born in Salt Lake City, Utah, the daughter of Ole Storm and his wife Henrietta. She came to El Paso and graduated from Ysleta High School. Turner attended George Washington College in Washington, D.C., and UTEP.

Turner started working as a cub reporter for the El Paso Herald-Post in 1944 and in 1959 was promoted to city managing editor, becoming the first woman city editor in the Scripps-Howard newspaper chain. She retired in 1976 but continued to write columns on the city’s history and personalities. She wrote frequently about the history of the Lower Valley. Turner was married to Harold Turner, an Army captain who was commanding officer at White Sands Missile Range. The couple had one son.

In the 1940s, Turner went to White Sands to cover a missile launch but was excluded from the area set aside for reporters because she was a woman. Turner continued to write for the Herald-Post until the paper went out of business in 1997. Turner also founded “News Hens,” a luncheon group of retired and active women reporters in El Paso. Turner’s mother ran a cafe on Alameda called Storms Cafe.

Turner was founding president of the Freedoms Foundation of Valley Forge. Turner was a member of the advisory committee of El Paso Metropolitan Criminal Justice, member of the board of the Salvation Army and a member of the publicity committee of the United Way. Turner was named outstanding ex by Ysleta High School in 1960. She was named an outstanding citizen by LULAC Council No. 8 in 1974. Turner won various honors for her work. She was honored by The American Osteopathic Association for a series of articles she wrote on a medical missionary group called DOCARE.

Joseph Longo

Since 1954 the El Paso County Historical Society has been a driving force in the historic scene of El Paso. EPCHS strives to foster research into the history of the El Paso area; acquire and make available to the public historic materials; publish and encourage historical writing pertaining to the area; and to develop public consciousness of our rich heritage.