Since the early 1970s, Ted Turner has stepped into the international spotlight with one accomplishment after another. Whether in billboard advertisement, cable television, sports team ownership, sailing, environmental initiatives or philanthropy — Turner's vision, determination, generosity and forthrightness have consistently given the world reason to take notice.
Since appearing on the cover of the Spring 1996 issue of Opportunist Magazine, Ted Turner has been very busy indeed.
Ted Turner and restaurateur George McKerrow, Jr., founder of Longhorn Steakhouse, launched Ted’s Montana Grill (TMG), an upscale Montana-style bar and grill specializing in bison. TMG offers comfort food and introduces consumers to the many health benefits of eating bison. The first Ted’s Montana Grill opened in Columbus, Ohio, and there are currently 47 restaurants in 18 states.
Turner Enterprises, Inc. (TEI), a private company, manages the business interests, land holdings and investments of Ted Turner, including the oversight of two million acres in 12 states and in Argentina, and more than 50,000 bison head.
TEI also works closely with Turner's philanthropic and charitable interests:
THE TURNER FOUNDATION
Founded in 1990 by Ted Turner, the Turner Foundation, Inc. is a private, independent family foundation committed to preventing damage to the natural systems — water, air, and land — on which all life depends. The Foundation makes grants in the areas of the environment and population and focuses on four main components:
Safeguarding Habitat — The goal of this program is to protect terrestrial and marine habitats and wildlife critical for the preservation of biodiversity. Focus is placed on protecting functioning ecosystems, including core, intact habitats, buffer zones and wildlife corridors.
Growing the Movement — The goal of this program is to engage, organize and empower new constituencies in order to ensure the future protection of our environment. This initiative helps stimulate progress in all areas of funding.
Solutions for Sustainable Living — The goal of this program is to modify patterns of consumption and to halt further degradation of natural resources by addressing the environmental impacts of personal, institutional and community choices. This initiative will help foster sustainable policies and practices.
Healthy Planet, Healthy Communities — The goal of this program is to restore or mitigate the effects of non-sustainable practices in order to enrich our quality of life and the health of our future communities and planet. Issues may include clean air; clean water; green space for community benefit; and environmental health and justice.
The Turner Foundation annually selects priority issues within the above program areas in order to make the greatest impact with our financial resources. Priority issues will be determined by the Trustees in an ongoing effort to best address the most timely and relevant needs.
THE CAPTAIN PLANET FOUNDATION
The mission of the Captain Planet Foundation is to fund and support hands-on, environmental projects for children and youths. The foundation’s objective is to encourage innovative programs that enable children and youth around the world to work individually and collectively to solve environmental problems in their neighborhoods and communities. In 2006, Captain Planet Foundation funded over 120 hands-on, environmental education projects in 32 states and in Cameroon and Guatemala.
THE TURNER ENDANGERED SPECIES FUND
“Each year tens of thousands of species and attendant ecological actions, fine-tuned by time and place, disappear at the hand of man,” according to the foundation. “In response to the crisis, Ted Turner and his family launched in June 1997 the Turner Endangered Species Fund. This private, non-profit charity dedicates itself to conserving biodiversity by ensuring the persistence of imperiled species and their habitats. We at the Turner Endangered Species Fund concentrate our efforts on carnivores, grasslands, plant-pollinator complexes, and species that historically ranged onto properties owned by Ted Turner. Our activities rest upon the principles of conservation biology.”
THE UNITED NATIONS FOUNDATION
The UN Foundation was created in 1998 with entrepreneur and philanthropist Ted Turner’s historic $1 billion gift to support UN causes and activities. The UN Foundation builds and implements public-private partnerships to address the world’s most pressing problems, and broadens support for the UN through advocacy and public outreach. The UN Foundation is a public charity. S. Taylor Glover, President and Chief Executive Officer of Turner Enterprises, Inc., announced last year that $760 million has been spent and, per the initial agreement, the rest will be expended by the end of 2014.
Since the UN Foundation was created it has invested more than $1.6 billion — $760 million from
Ted Turner’s gift and more than $900 million from individuals, corporations, governments, and
private charities—to programs that address key global challenges. The UN Foundation reports
that for every dollar it spends, it leverages an additional $1.25 from partners.
NUCLEAR THREAT INITIATIVE
Concerned that the threat from nuclear weapons had fallen off most people’s radar screens after the end of the Cold War, Ted Turner asked former U.S. Senator Sam Nunn to help assess whether a private organization could make a difference. After months of discussions and consultations with some of the world’s most respected security experts, Turner and Senator Nunn founded the Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI) in January 2001. Initially supported by a pledge from Mr. Turner and other private contributions, NTI is now classified as a public charity.