The Early Life of Ted Turner


obert Edward "Ted" Turner was born on November 19, 1938 in Cincinnati Ohio. At the age of nine, he moved with his family to Atlanta, Georgia where his dad continued in the billboard industry. Turner graduated from the military-oriented McCallie School in Chattanooga Tennessee. While there, he had the nickname "Terrible Ted" and was not the normal boy in school. He was an amateur taxidermist and also grew grass in his room. This "strangeness" seems to have carried on, to an extent, in his later life, as evidenced by his wearing a Confederate officer’s uniform with the accompanying sword to corporate negotiations. It is interesting to note here that Ted once even challenged Rupert Murdoch to a televised boxing match in Las Vegas. While still a teenager, he went to Brown University, despite his father’s desire that he not go there. While there, he took up yachting and became a master debater, but never finished his degree. He was asked to leave Brown after he was found in his room with a woman.

In 1963, when Ted was only 24, suffered the loss of his dad when his father shot himself following the increasing debt his billboard business had fallen into. First, Ted planned to sell the company, but after the death of his dad, he decided to try and run the business himself. He bought it back even though, many people felt he, like his father, would fail too. It didn’t happen right away, but slowly, Ted started to rebuild his father’s legacy.


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Created by John Hatcher