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Robert Edward Turner III (born November 19, ) is an American media mogul and .. At a board meeting in fall , Turner's outburst against AOL Time Warner CEO Gerald Levin eventually led to the Levin's announced resignation. Media tycoon Ted Turner, author of the book 'Call Me Ted' and the founder of CNN, speaks to host Tom Brokaw (R) during a taping of 'Meet the Press' at the. In , Turner purchased Major League Baseball's Atlanta Braves and the Overseas Press Club Lifetime Achievement Award in , was honored by the.
In addition to being a southerner, my father was raised Protestant, and for the Rooneys, who were Catholic, marrying outside the church was no small matter. I came along on November 19,the first Turner born north of the Mason-Dixon line, and as the first grandchild on either side of the family I was showered with lots of love from my parents and extended family. She lived until she was ninety-one and used to call me "a little dickens.
My grandfather George Rooney lived with two of his unmarried sisters—back then they were referred to as "old maids"—and I got along great with all three of them. Regardless of his courtship assurances, after I was born my father let my mother know that he would not allow his children to be brought up Catholic.
This was no small issue for my mom and the Rooneys. My earliest memories of our Cincinnati home are mostly pleasant. I was an energetic child and spent much of my time in the backyard and at the creek that ran through a little vacant lot down the street.
That date was significant because when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor just a few months later, my father joined the Navy.
When it came time to head out for basic training, my parents also decided that military barracks and Quonset huts were no place for a little boy. They took their infant daughter, Mary Jean, but left me behind to attend a Cincinnati boarding school. I was four years old. I went from living with my family in a nice home with a grass yard and a creek hollow down the street to a cold, concrete dorm room and a gray gravel courtyard framed by a chain-link fence.
The place felt like a prison, and as a four-year-old, it was hard for me to understand why my parents took my sister and left me behind. The school allowed me to spend Sunday afternoons with my grandparents but the other six and a half days and nights were extremely lonely.
There was one woman there who served as a floor proctor and I have vague memories of her helping me fall asleep at night when I was feeling especially sad and lonely.
For example, to this day, I have a significant problem being by myself. My unhappiness must have been obvious, as my parents decided from afar that I should spend the following school year with my Turner grandparents in rural Mississippi. They lived in a small town of about two hundred named Sumner which later gained infamy as the site of the murder of Emmett Till, the tragic event that helped trigger the civil rights movement.
Moving to Sumner meant more transition for me and while it was hard to leave Ohio, I was thrilled to get out of that awful school and was happy to be back with loving family members on a full-time basis. My time in Mississippi provided constant exposure to nature. Living with my grandparents on the edge of town I observed all kinds of animals and birds and insects and they fascinated me.
I spent hours fishing off a nearby bridge with a piece of bacon hanging at the end of a string and had fun catching turtles. While I was still isolated from my immediate family and I had plenty of lonely moments, I enjoyed spending so much time in nature and my memories of this time are mostly positive. My father returned from the war the following year and our family was finally reunited in Cincinnati.
After sending me to public kindergarten in Sumner, for first grade my parents enrolled me in a private school named Lotspeich. I was a restless kid and got in trouble a lot. After being isolated and alone for so long I was simply craving attention. For the next couple of years I attended Avondale, a local public school, and my behavior in this new setting was pretty much the same. I caused plenty of mischief but it was a lot harder to get kicked out of public school than private and I managed to stay there from my second grade year through the first part of my fifth grade.
After all the moves and separation of my earlier years, this was a time of relative stability for me. My dad was a complicated man. He was a perfectionist in every aspect of his life—from his dress and overall appearance to the way he conducted his business and raised his family.
He was also a deep thinker.
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He wanted to do the right thing and he read a lot, including books about parenting. Putting into practice all the different approaches he learned about meant that his style was often unpredictable. One constant in his parenting, however, was strict discipline and a firm belief in the value of hard work. I was only eight or nine years old when my father started making me work during summer vacation.
I began at about four hours a day, and in those earlier years my chief responsibility was working in our yard. And all these ants and chiggers would get you while you were down on your hands and knees pulling weeds.
I might have been out of school, but summertime for me was not a vacation. My father was also an alcoholic and a heavy smoker. He told me that he loved his time in the Navy, but while he appreciated the opportunity to see places like Australia and the Philippineshe also saw combat.
He told me that he once killed a Japanese sailor at close range with a pistol. My father and some other guys were looking for souvenirs on a Japanese ship that was half sunk in shallow water in Manila Bay. Out of nowhere, a starving, crazed man came running out at them.
He was screaming and hollering in Japanese and continued to charge my father so Dad shot him in self-defense. But regardless of the reasons, my dad was a volatile man with a quick temper. This upset my mother and I can remember times when I was getting a spanking and my mother stood outside my door, begging my father to stop.
He handed me the razor strap, lay face down on the bed, and told me to spank him. I loved him so much that I dropped the strap and broke down and cried. Looking back, some of the biggest arguments my parents had concerned his treatment of me, but my dad ran an old-fashioned household and he insisted that pretty much everything had to be his way. Lucy continues to live in Cincinnati, Ohio. During their courtship, Ed was very charming and he pursued Florence with everything he had.
But their marriage ran into trouble early. His behavior was almost like a Dr.
Book excerpt: 'Call Me Ted'
My sister-in-law was elegant and strong but Ed dominated that household. He also seemed to favor his daughter, Mary Jean. He could be brutal to young Teddy and the abuse began early. Please help by adding reliable sources. Contentious material about living persons that is unsourced or poorly sourced must be removed immediately, especially if potentially libelous or harmful. Following his father's March suicide, Turner became president and chief executive of Turner Advertising Company when he was 24  and turned the firm into a global enterprise.
Ted Turner - Wikipedia
The book observed that Turner "discovered his father had sheltered a substantial amount of taxable income over the years by personally lending it back to the company" and "discovered that the billboard business could be a gold mine, a tax-depreciable revenue stream that threw off enormous amounts of cash with almost no capital investment. Independent UHF stations were not ratings winners or that profitable even in larger markets, but Turner had the foresight that this would change as people wanted more than several choices.
Initially, the station ran old movies from the s, s and s, along with theatrical cartoons and very old sitcoms and old drama shows. As better syndicated product fell off the VHF stations, Turner would acquire it for his station at a very low price. As cable systems developed, many carried his station to free their schedules, which increased his viewers and advertising.
Using the rechristened WTBS' superstation status to beam Braves games into nearly every home in North America, Turner made the Braves a household name even before their run of success in the s and early s.
At one point, he suggested to pitcher Andy Messersmithwho wore number 17, that he change his surname to "Channel" to promote the television station. Broadcasting the events of these games provided his super-station the ability to provide Olympic-style sports programming that had been offered by only the three major networks ABC, CBS and NBC up to that time.
CNN[ edit ] Inhe contacted media executive Reese Schonfeld with his plans to found a hour news channel Schonfeld had previously approached Turner with the same proposition in but was rebuffed.