Known affectionately as the “Mouth of the South, he created a TV and sports empire that dramatically altered the media landscape.
Robert Edward “Ted” Turner was born in Cincinnati in 1938. When he was nine, his family moved to Savannah. Turner took over his father’s billboard company after his father’s suicide and began expanding the business. He moved to Atlanta and bought a small UHF station that played cartoons and old movies. Then, needing programming, Turner bought the Atlanta Braves, broadcasting their games, and not just locally. Using satellites, he beamed the Braves across the country. The “superstation” was born.
Turner launched CNN in 1980, the first 24-hour all-news network, followed by a host of other cable operations. He matched his business enterprise with a flamboyant personality that kept him in the news, particularly winning the America’s Cup in 1977 and his $1 billion gift to the United Nations, the single largest donation by a private individual in history.
The man who singlehandedly reshaped the communications universe in the 20th century was born on November 19, 1938, Today in Georgia History.