CNN founder Robert Edward "Ted" Turner III (1938-) has never been known for his humility. The brash and flamboyant cable TV mogul celebrates his birthday today.
Born in Cincinnati, Ohio, he grew up in Atlanta. "Terrible Ted" disregarded rules and was tossed out of Brown University. But more. His is the story of a brilliant man whose cable network--inaugurated in 1980--revolutionized the television industry.
"This is America. We can do anything here," said the outspoken, eccentric billionaire.
Turner certainly does anything... and everything. He created four cable dynamos: WTBS Superstation, CNN (Cable Network News), Headline News, and TNT (Turner Network Television).
"Lead, follow, or get out of the way," he once said.
Ever the sports enthusiast, in 1976, Turner bought the Atlanta Braves for $11 million and with WTBS broadcasts, transformed the Braves into "America's Team." Winner of the coveted 1977 America's Cup with his craft, Courageous, he bought the Atlanta Hawks basketball team in 1977.
He said, "You can never quit. Winner never quit, and quitters never win."
In 1986, he purchased MGM for $1 billion, then caused an uproar when he colorized the extensive black and white movie library. For his work in international relations promotion, he was named Time magazine's Man of the Year in 1991.
As one of the most influential philanthropists in the United States, in 1997 he committed $1 billion to the United Nation, at the time the single largest donation in philanthropic history and said, "What good is wealth sitting in the bank?" He told Larry King, "The more good I do, the more money has come in. You have to learn to give."