- NAME: Ted Turner
- OCCUPATION: Entrepreneur, Philanthropist
- BIRTH DATE: November 19, 1938 (Age: 74)
- EDUCATION: Brown University, McCallie School, Georgia Military Academy
- PLACE OF BIRTH: Cincinnati, Ohio
- Full Name: Robert Edward Turner III
- Nickname: Mouth of the South
- Nickname: Captain Outrageous
- ZODIAC SIGN: Scorpio
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Ted Turner is a television and media magnate who founded CNN, the first 24-Hour cable news network.
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Ted Turner was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, on November 19, 1938. He began working for his father's company, Turner Advertising and became president and CEO in 1963. He later renamed the company the Turner Broadcasting Company and founded the first 24-hour cable news network, CNN, which debuted in 1980. Time Warner purchased Turner Broadcasting for $7.5 billion in 1996. Turner was married to actress Jane Fonda from 1991-2001.
"If I hadn't started [Turner Broadcasting System] I couldn't have afforded to buy it. And if I hadn't started it, I would certainly not be qualified to work here in any capacity."
Ted Turner was born Robert Edward Turner III in Cincinnati, Ohio, on November 19, 1938. He is the eldest child of parents Robert Edward (Ed) Turner Jr. and Florence (Rooney) Turner. Ted’s father owned his own company, Turner Advertising. The business was lucrative; Ed earned a substantial profit selling billboard ads. Although Ed was a good provider, he suffered from mood swings caused by bipolar disorder and vented his anger by physically abusing Ted. Years later, as an adult, Ted would discover he too was bipolar.
When World War II broke out, Ed signed up for the Navy. In 1941, he brought his wife and Ted’s sister with him to the Gulf Coast, but left Ted behind feeling horribly abandoned. While his family was away, Ted stayed at a Cincinnati boarding school. After the war, Ed relocated the family to Savannah, Georgia, and enrolled his son in the Georgia Military Academy.
In 1950, Ted started attending McCallie, an elite boarding school in Chattanooga, Tennessee. His curriculum included military training, one of Ted’s favorite subjects. After completing his course load at McCallie, Ted hoped to sign up with the United States Naval Academy, but his father insisted Ted attend Harvard. Ted’s grades weren’t good enough for Harvard, so in 1956, he enrolled in Brown University instead. But, before he could earn his diploma from Harvard, Ted was kicked out for having a woman in his dorm room. It was 1959, the same year his parents divorced.
In 1960, Ted’s father made him the manager of Turner Advertising’s Macon, Georgia, branch. Ted quickly showed a natural talent for business by more than doubling the office’s revenue in his first year. When Turner’s father bought out a competitor in 1962, the costly buyout and subsequent debt placed the company in a tenuous financial condition. Fearing bankruptcy and struggling to cope with bipolar disorder, Ed shot himself to death in March of 1963. Ted dealt with his grief by throwing himself into his work. He took over the roles of president and chief executive officer at Turner Advertising, renamed Turner Communications in the late 1960s as the company bought several radio stations. By 1970 he had achieved the distinction of owning the biggest advertising company in the southeastern United States. Turner eventually expanded into television, purchasing the rights to old movies and situation comedies. The decision proved highly profitable.
In 1976, Turner made a strategic move to reach an even larger audience through the use of satellite technology.
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