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Ted  Turner

Ted Turner

Media Mogul & Philanthropist

Biography

Robert Edward "Ted" Turner III (born November 19, 1938) is an American media mogul and philanthropist. He is perhaps best known for founding CNN and Turner Classic Movies and his $1 billion pledge to the United Nations. Read More >

Turner served as vice chairman of Time Warner Inc., a position he assumed in October 1996, following the merger of Time Warner Inc. and Turner Broadcasting System, Inc.  As vice chairman, Turner oversaw the Time Warner cable networks division, which consists of the assets of Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., including the domestic and international arms of Cable News Network (CNN), Cartoon Network, Headline News, TBS Superstation, Turner Classic Movies (TCM) and Turner Network Television (TNT), as well as Home Box Office, Inc. (HBO), Cinemax, Warner Bros. International Networks, and Time Warner’s interest in Comedy Central and Court TV.  He also oversaw New Line Cinema and the company’s professional sports teams—Major League Baseball’s Atlanta Braves, National Basketball Association’s Atlanta Hawks and the Thrashers, Atlanta’s National Hockey League expansion team. 

In January 2001, he became vice chairman of AOL Time Warner subsequent to the merger between Time Warner and AOL in 2000 – a position he retained until he resigned in May 2003.

Turner's media empire began with his father's billboard business which he took over at the age of 24 after his father's death.  Purchase of an Atlanta UHF station in 1970 began the assemblage of the Turner Broadcasting System.  His Cable News Network (CNN) revolutionized news media, coming to the forefront covering the space shuttle Challenger disaster in 1986 and the Persian Gulf War in 1991. Years later he originated the “superstation” concept, transmitting the station’s signal to cable systems nationwide via satellite. 

Turner has made his mark as one of the most influential philanthropists in the US. Originator of the Goodwill Games in 1985, he is also president of the Turner Foundation, the Turner family's private grant-making organization, which focuses on population and the environment.  Turner is also chairman of the United Nations Foundation, a charitable organization he founded to support UN causes, and the Nuclear Threat Initiative.

Turner, the recipient of numerous honorary degrees, is an active environmentalist and has received numerous civic and industry awards and honors, including being named Time magazine’s 1991 Man of the Year and Broadcasting's Man of the Century in 1999, he was also inducted into the Cable TV Hall of Fame in 1999.  In 1995, Turner accepted, on behalf of the team, the Atlanta Braves’ first World Championship trophy, and in August 2000, he was inducted into the Atlanta Braves Hall of Fame.

In January 2002, Turner opened the first Ted's Montana Grill, which specializes in bison burgers, in Columbus, Ohio with his partner, George W. McKerrow Jr., founder of the Longhorn Steakhouse chain and several other successful restaurants.  Ted's Montana Grill expects to open up to forty more restaurants in the next few years. Read Less ^

Speaker Videos

On Setting a Good Example Internationally

Speech Topics

Embracing the Entrepreneurial Spirit

Changing the World: Giving Back & Never Giving Up

From the Atlanta Braves to HBO: Success through Diversification

Connect with Ted Turner