Aspen Ski Company and Wilderness Society executive

Passing Date: 
Sunday, October 15, 2017

William Turnage, who served briefly around 1989 as a vice-president of the Aspen Skiing Company, and earlier served as executive director of the Wilderness Society and business manager for photographer Ansel Adams, died October 15, 2017, at his home in Mill Valley, Calif. He was 74. The cause was stomach and esophageal cancer.

Turnage met Adams when studying at the Yale School of Forestry in the early 1970s. The two hit it off immediately, and Adams hired Bill as a business manager to market Adams’ famous black-and-white pictures of Yosemite and western American landscapes. Turnage left Adams in 1978 to join the Wilderness Society, where he successfully reorganized and reoriented the organization.

Shortly after Bob Maynard became President of the Aspen Skiing Co. in 1988, he hired Turnage as Vice President of Marketing and Communications. The two shared common views on public land and the environment, but the often adversarial Turnage clashed with the Aspen community and the local newspaper. Especially acrimonious was the dispute over the planned expansion of the Snowmass resort. Turnage lasted scarcely more than a year in the job before departing.

In later years he worked on publishing rights and archive of the work of Adams, who had died in 1984. Turnage is survived by his wife Annemarie Murauer. —John Fry 


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