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Also Known As: Robert Edward Turner Iii, R E Turner Died:
Born: November 19, 1938 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Cincinnati, Ohio, USA Profession: executive, entrepreneur, sports executive, advertising account executive, yachtsman

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Alternately referred to as a visionary businessman, monomaniacal competitor or simply "Captain Outrageous," brash media mogul Ted Turner built a broadcasting and entertainment empire that reshaped the multimedia landscape throughout the 1980s and '90s. Building on his family business and an almost manic need to accomplish the impossible, Turner turned a failing Atlanta-based UHF channel into TBS, America's first "Superstation." Already the owner of Atlanta's MLB and NBA franchises, Turner achieved fame as the boisterous winner of America's Cup in 1977. Three years later, he embarked on what most deemed a fool's errand when he launched CNN, the world's first 24-hour news network. More bold acquisitions and gutsy startups followed, typified by three-letter acronyms like MGM, TNT, TCM and WCW. In addition to his business ventures, Turner made news for his lofty philanthropic pursuits, well-publicized feud with rival media tycoon Rupert Murdoch, and his 10-year marriage to actress Jane Fonda. Turner began to see a shift not only in his relationship with the company he built, but with his personal fortune as well, after successive mergers with Time Warner, Inc. and AOL. By 2006, he had completely stepped...

Alternately referred to as a visionary businessman, monomaniacal competitor or simply "Captain Outrageous," brash media mogul Ted Turner built a broadcasting and entertainment empire that reshaped the multimedia landscape throughout the 1980s and '90s. Building on his family business and an almost manic need to accomplish the impossible, Turner turned a failing Atlanta-based UHF channel into TBS, America's first "Superstation." Already the owner of Atlanta's MLB and NBA franchises, Turner achieved fame as the boisterous winner of America's Cup in 1977. Three years later, he embarked on what most deemed a fool's errand when he launched CNN, the world's first 24-hour news network. More bold acquisitions and gutsy startups followed, typified by three-letter acronyms like MGM, TNT, TCM and WCW. In addition to his business ventures, Turner made news for his lofty philanthropic pursuits, well-publicized feud with rival media tycoon Rupert Murdoch, and his 10-year marriage to actress Jane Fonda. Turner began to see a shift not only in his relationship with the company he built, but with his personal fortune as well, after successive mergers with Time Warner, Inc. and AOL. By 2006, he had completely stepped away from duties at the media company, choosing to devote his energies to such ecological enterprises as his Turner Foundation and penning his autobiography. Truly a man of astounding ambition and fierce resolve, Turner was sure to be remembered as one of the greatest entrepreneur-philanthropist-rabble rousers in American history.

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

DIRECTOR:

1.
  Without Borders (1988) Creator

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Fidel (2001) Himself
3.
 Gettysburg (1993) (Uncredited Cameo Appearance) Lieutenant Colonel W T Patton
5.
7.
10.
 Naked News (1995)
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

1948:
Moved with family from Cincinnati to Savannah, GA at age 9 (date approximate)
1960:
Worked as general manager of Turner Advertising (his family's outdoor advertising business), Macon, GA, selling space on billboards
:
Bought family companies; became president and chief executive officer of various Turner Companies, Atlanta
1970:
First entered broadcasting with purchase of the independent UHF TV station, Channel 17, in Atlanta; renamed WTBS
1976:
Served as president, chairman of the board, Turner Broadcasting Systems (TBS), the nation's first "superstation", using satellite technology to carry its signal nationwide
1976:
Purchased Atlanta Braves baseball team in January for $10 million; acted as president
1977:
Purchased Atlanta Hawks basketball team in January; acted as president
1980:
Established CNN (Cable News Network), the first 24-hour, all-news station
1981:
Established Turner Program Services, a syndication arm of TBS
1982:
Set up CNN Radio, a 24-hour, all-news broadcaster
1982:
Started Headline News, a second 24-hour TV network
1983:
Purchased Satellite News Channel
1985:
In January, purchased a 75% share in the Omni International, which consisted of two 14-story office buildings, a hotel and an atrium which connects them; TBS took over as sole owner in August 1986; renamed the CNN Center
1985:
Organized the Goodwill Games; sponsored first games in Moscow in 1986
1985:
Attempted takeover of CBS for $5.4 billion; move blocked by network
1985:
Bought MGM/UA Entertainment Co. For $1.5 billion in August; subject to closing deal by December 31
1985:
Appeared in the documentary "Southern Voices, American Dream", written, produced and directed by Ken Hey
1986:
As part of earlier deal, sold UA back to MGM/UA majority stockholder Kirk Kerkorian for $500-600 million; also sold part of MGM/UA to Lorimar for $190 million
1986:
Set up the Turner Entertainment Company to handle the management and marketing of what he still owned of MGM/UA, primarily the film and TV libraries
1987:
Started TNT (Turner Network Television)
1987:
First feature credit: "executive consultant" for the comedy-drama, "Amazing Grace and Chuck"
:
Purchased World Championship Wrestling Inc.
1993:
Turner Broadcasting System acquired New Line Cinema and Castle Rock Entertainment for over $650 million
1993:
Played a cameo role as Lt. Col. W. T. Patton in the feature Civil War saga, "Gettysburg", produced by his Turner Pictures
1994:
Announced $75 million dollar award to education, with one third going to his alma mater Brown University, and other monies going to preparatory schools The Citadel in Charleston, SC and the McCallie School in Chattanooga, TN
1994:
Introduced another cable channel, Turner Classic Movies (TCM), designed to compete with American Movie Classics by showing older Hollywood movies without commercial interruption; many cable carriers nationwide, though, already had full slates and the channel was initially available to very few viewers nationwide
1995:
Agreed to merger of Turner Entertainment and Time Warner
1997:
Announced $1 billion charitable gift to benefit United Nations agencies
2000:
Relieved of duties at Turner Broadcasting following the merger of AOL and Time Warner
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

Brown University: Providence , Rhode Island - 1960

Notes

Received an honorary degree from Emerson College in May 2000.

"Turner represents the rogue pioneer hormone lost somewhere deep within the gentrified, cable-connected, microwavable American soul. He is our surrogate venturer into the future, going boldly where no man has had the gall to go before--a buccaneer and provocateur who thrives on strewing the waters with red meat when jumping in with the sharks. What can you say about a man who speaks as passionately about colorizing "Gilligan's Island" as he does about wiping out world hunger? Who believes the key to East-West reconciliation lies in establishing Rotary Clubs in Budapest and Minsk? Who presumes to shape the future of American film but sees only two movies a year?. (from American Film article by Greg Dawson, January-February 1989)

"[He's] passionate, coarse and, for a man of the world, boyishly provincial, a man who has met privately with Gorbachev yet still reads every review in obscure weeklies, hungry for validation...Born in Cincinnati but bred in Georgia, Turner is a Yankee fist inside a velvet Southern glove. His mind may have gone north to college, but his accent stayed south. This is the voice of a Skoal commercial." (from American Film article by Greg Dawson, January-February 1989)

Ted Turner on the "art" and the "business" of cinema, or at least mainstream cinema: "Movies were made to be profitable. They were not made as art. They were made to make money, and any moviemaker who did make movies for art's sake is out of business." --From American Film, January-February 1989

Named yachtsman of the year four times.

He has won the America's Cup in his yacht "Courageous" in 1977.

Awarded the Fastnet Trophy for yachting in 1979.

He was named Outstanding Entrepreneur of the Year by "Sales Marketing and Management" magazine in 1979.

He has received the president's award for National Cable TV Association in 1979.

Named International Communicator of the Year by sales and marketing executives in 1981.

Received sponsor recognition award from the American council for Better Broadcasts (1981)

He was named Business Leader of the Year by Sigma Delta Pi and the Georgetown University School of Business Administration (1982)

Named Man of the Year by the Harvard Business School Communications Chapter (1982)

He was named MIPCOM Man of the Year in 1990.

Named Time Magazine's Man of the Year (1991)

He was inducted into the TV Hall of Fame, Academy of Televison Arts and Sciences (1992)

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Judy Nye Hallisey. Divorced; mother of Turner's two older children.
wife:
Jane Shirley Smith. Former flight attendant. Married in 1964; divorced in 1988; mother of Turner's three younger children.
wife:
Jane Fonda. Actor, producer. Met in 1989; became engaged in 1990; married on December 21, 1991 at Avalon, Turner's plantation in Capps, Florida; separated in January 2000; Fonda filed for divorce in April 2001; divorce official as of May 22, 2001.
companion:
Frederique D'Arragon. Artist. French; born c. 1949; began dating in late spring 2000.
VIEW COMPLETE COMPANION LISTING

Family close complete family listing

father:
Robert Edward Turner. Advertising manager.
mother:
Florence Turner.
daughter:
Laura Lee Turner. Mother, Judy Nye.
son:
Robert Edward Turner IV. Mother, Judy Nye.
son:
Rhett Turner. Mother, Jane Smith.
son:
Beauregard Turner. Born c. 1968; mother, Jane Smith; married Gannon Hunt in December 1999.
daughter:
Jennie Turner. Mother, Jane Smith.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

Bibliography close complete biography

"Citizen Turner: The Wild Rise of an American Tycoon" Harcourt Brace
"Me and Ted Against the World: The Unauthorized Story of the Founding of CNN" Cliff Street Books

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