Allen M. Turner is immediate past chairman of the board of Columbia College Chicago's Board of Trustees. In 1965, he joined the family investment firm The Pritzker Organization where he is now a partner.
Turner's business affiliations include serving as Chairman of the Executive Committee of Hyatt International Corporation; Chairman of the Board of Chicago Mill & Lumber Company, Greenville, Mississippi; and Chairman of the Board of McCall's Magazine (1974-1986).
His interest in theatre began in the 1970s and led to his involvement with Victory Gardens Theatre where he served as its first board chair. Turner played a key role in guiding Victory Gardens Theatre to a position of financial stability. Subsequently, he joined the board of the Goodman Theater, serving as the board chair from 1982 to 1985.
Turner served as chairman of the board of the Museum of Contemporary Art of Chicago, 1991-1996. During that time he oversaw the construction of the current museum building and the completion of the Capital Campaign. In five years, the MCA grew from its storefront operation to a world-class institution.
Turner's other activities as an arts advocate include: Chairman of the Visiting Committee on Visual Arts at the University of Chicago. He also serves on the committee on Modern and Contemporary Art at the Art Institute of Chicago; founding trustee, Pritzker Architecture Prize; trustee, Market Theater Foundation, Johannesburg, South Africa; trustee, Columbia College; and trustee, Newberry Library.
His academic activities include: lecturer on American Theater, Cambridge University and Yale University and lecturer, School of Business Arts Management Program, University of Wisconsin, Madison. In 2013 he was named honroary professor of Tongji University, Shanghai, China.
Turner was appointed a Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres from the Republic of France; honored as Knight Commander, The Sovereign Military and Hospitaler Order of Saint John of Jerusalem, Knights of Malta, Official Seat The Hague, Kingdom of The Netherlands; Honorary Member, Kings College, Cambridge University, England. He also received the Distinguished Business Alumnus Award of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, School of Business. In May 2013 he received an honorary doctorate of arts from Columbia College Chicago.
He attended the University of Wisconsin, Madison where he received his bachelors of business administration degree in 1958. He received his J.D. from the University of Chicago Law School in 1961.