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Robert Edward Turner III (November 19, 1938) is an American media mogul and philanthropist. As a businessman, he is best known as the founder of the cable television network CNN, the first dedicated 24-hour cable news channel. In addition to CNN, he founded WTBS, which pioneered the superstation concept in cable television. As a philanthropist, he is well known for his $1 billion pledge to the United Nations donated through his United Nations Foundation.
Turner's media empire began with his father's billboard business which he took over at the age of 24 after his father's suicide. The billboard business, Turner Outdoor Advertising, was worth approximately one million dollars when Turner took it over in 1963. Purchase of an Atlanta UHF station in 1970 began the assemblage of the Turner Broadcasting System. His Cable News Network revolutionized news media, coming to the forefront covering the space shuttle Challenger disaster in 1986 and the Persian Gulf War in 1991. Using his media empire for publicity, Turner turned the Atlanta Braves baseball team into a nationally-popular franchise and launched the charitable Goodwill Games.
Turner's penchant for making controversial statements has earned him the nickname "The Mouth of the South." Turner was also in the news for his much publicized marriage to Jane Fonda as well as their subsequent divorce.
In addition to his charitable donations, Turner has devoted his assets to a blend of environmentalism and capitalism, owning more land than any other American, and using much of that land for ranches as part of his plan to re-popularize buffalo meat, in the process amassing the largest herd in the world.