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My new favorite billionaire

Updated on November 5, 2014

Ted Turner?

Ted Tuner is my new favorite billionaire (although Elon Musk is likely to poke his head back into the top slot before too long). Here are five reasons why:

  1. Tuner, in spite of being a billionaire, reads his own autobiography on Audible. He provides an unexpected personal touch to his life's story, which is absolutely riveting. True, Turner could have paid someone (well, just about anyone) to read the book, but he was laid up in the hospital from a skiing accident for a couple of weeks and wanted something to do. That's so Ted.
  2. Ted grew up without all that many privileges (I do have to qualify that a bit- he wasn't super poor by any stretch, but by comparison with many of his contemporaries, Ted was extremely broke and perceived as poor growing up, especially in college). He nearly died hitchhiking to Chicago one time, freezing to death on the side of a rural Pennsylvania road.
  3. He learned and grew from his earlier life. Growing up a young republican, Turner attended Barry Goldwater's republican national convention in order to meet smart, attractive women. He landed his first wife there. Later in life, he changed his views after meeting Fidel Catro in person and getting to know him on a personal level for a week in Havana- really crazy to do during the 80s!
  4. Turner's Goodwill Games in the Soviet Union in 1986 and friendship with Mikhail Gorbachev may well have contributed (albeit in a somewhat small way) to the end of the Cold War just a few years later.
  5. Shear ambition and drive. Turner has always been an extremely hard worker, but hard work is not enough by itself. Ted saw the big picture early on, saw that he had to work on delegating skills (something I really appreciate as a business owner with high hopes for the future) and persisted until he had what he was after.

Ted Turner has made plenty of mistakes, but he's never let himself get down or wallow in self-pity. Instead, he has used these mistakes to catapult himself forward, even to the point where he could donate a billion dollars to the UN.

This is a wild story, and a very fun listen.

Ted Turner today

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Learning and moving on

Ted Turner has made plenty of mistakes, but he's never let himself get down or wallow in self-pity. Instead, he has used these mistakes to catapult himself forward, even to the point where he could donate a billion dollars to the UN.

Similarly, I've tried to always come to the realization that you can't ever move backwards in time, only forwards. Turner seemed to grasp this at a very early age, and as such, built an empire around this concept. When his father killed himself and left Ted in charge, Turner felt compelled to honor his father's legacy by constantly moving forward with the business, almost immediately.

This is a wild story, and a very fun listen.


Ted interviews Carl Sagan

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