Call Me Ted

Ted Turner, Bill Burke

Publisher: Warner / Grand Central Publishing / Hachette, 2008, 433 pages

ISBN: 0-446-54087-0

Keywords: Biography

Last modified: April 6, 2021, 7:29 a.m.

"Early to bed, early to rise, work like hell and advertise!"

These words of fatherly advice helped shape Ted Turner's remarkable life, but they only begin to explain what has made him a living legend. An innovative entrepreneur, outspoken nonconformist, and groundbreaking philanthropist, Ted now, for the first time, tells his personal story.

From his difficult childhood to the successful launch of his media empire to the catastrophic AOL-Time Warner merger to his marriage to Jane Fonda, you'll hear Ted's take on how we can save the world… share his experiences in the dugout on the day he appointed himself manager of the Atlanta Braves… learn how he almost lost his life in the 1979 Fastnet sailing race (but came out the winner)… and discover surprising insights about his dealings with Fidel Castro, Mikhail Gorbachev, Jimmy Carter, Bill Gates, Jack Welch, Warren Buffet, and many others.

With his usual frankness, Ted delves into his darker and more intimate memories — such as the devasting losses of his beloved sister, who died at seventeen, and his hard-charging father, who commited suicide. Equally revealing are the "Ted Stories" told by his colleagues, friends, and family. You'll hear Ted Turner's distinctive voice on every page — as this book sheds new light on one of the greatest visionaries of our time.

  1. Early Years
  2. McCallie
  3. College and the Coast Guard
  4. Billboards
  5. Tragedy
  6. Picking Up the Pieces
  7. On My Own
  8. Sailing Gets Serious
  9. WTCG: "Watch This Channel Grow!"
  10. The Braves
  11. The SuperStation
  12. The America's Cup
  13. Cable News Network
  14. Fastnet
  15. CNN Launch
  16. A Dagger Pointed at Our Heart
  17. World Citizen
  18. The Goodwill Games
  19. CBS
  20. MGM
  21. The Cable Operators
  22. Meeting Jane Fonda
  23. "Give Me Land, Lots of Land"
  24. The Gulf War
  25. Movies and Cartoons
  26. Networking
  27. Time Warner Merger
  28. The New Time Warner
  29. Billion-Dollar Gift
  30. Transitions
  31. AOL: Phased Out and Fenced In
  32. Stepping Away
  33. Onward and Upward


Call Me Ted

Reviewed by Roland Buresund

OK ***** (5 out of 10)

Last modified: Feb. 1, 2009, 3:03 p.m.

An interesting book that chronicles the achievements (and lows) of an extra-ordinary character. Of course, he never let himself as a person shine through, but only gives a narrative of how he saw the events unfold, which makes the book eeriely un-personal, even though he comments on a lot of personal stuff (in a very impersonal way). What gives us a hint of the "real" Ted Turner is through some small comments inserted throughout the book from his associates, but they only touches on the real person.

This is a case were an unauthorised biography would have been better (both to accentuate the good/bad parts of his persona and career as well as give a better context).

All in all, it wasn't as self-congratulatory as such books usually are, so I believe that it was an interesting read, but don't expect to learn "anything" except that Ted Turner has worked for a long time.


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