Founder, Turner Endangered Species Fund and Turner Biodiversity Divisions
Throughout his career, Ted Turner has received recognition for his entrepreneurial acumen, sharp business skills, leadership qualities, and his unprecedented philanthropy.
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.
Turner is chairman of the United Nations Foundation, which promotes a more peaceful, prosperous and just world; co-chairman of the Nuclear Threat Initiative, a charitable organization working to reduce the global threats from nuclear, biological and chemical weapons; chairman of the Turner Foundation, which is committed to protecting and restoring natural systems – land, air and water – on which all life depends; and co-founder of Ted’s Montana Grill restaurant chain, which operates 43 locations nationwide.
Out of concern for the well-being of his land and its species, Turner established the Turner Endangered Species Fund in 1997 to conserve biodiversity by emphasizing restoration efforts of endangered or imperiled species on Turner ranches and in partnership with state and federal natural resources agencies.
For many years, Turner has devoted his time and energy toward promoting the use of clean energy sources. Through his Turner Renewable Energy (TRE) company, Turner believes that investing in renewable energy is not only a prudent financial decision, but also a crucial step toward ensuring our planet’s future health. TRE has taken several significant steps in moving from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources, including investing in MERIT SI, LLC, a national sustainable infrastructure company with offices in Austin and Houston, Texas and New Jersey. MERIT SI develops and delivers innovative solar and energy storage solutions to industrial operators of critical infrastructure across North America. In addition to its investment in MERIT SI, Turner Renewable Energy is responsible for the development of the 25-canopy Luckie Street Solar Project and the utilization of clean energy sources whenever possible at Ted’s Montana Grill restaurants and on Turner Ranches, which utilize some form of solar power on the majority of its properties.
Turner is also chairman of Turner Enterprises, Inc. (TEI), a private company with offices in Atlanta, GA and Bozeman, MT, that oversees his business interests, landholdings and investments. In 2015, Turner founded Ted Turner Reserves (TTR) which is overseen by TEI and allows the public access to Turner’s four properties in New Mexico, totaling approximately one million acres. The purpose of TTR is to create the opportunity for others to enjoy all that these properties have to offer, including the abundant wildlife and outdoor activities, while hopefully igniting a keen awareness and appreciation for our Earth.
During his sailing career, Turner was an intense ocean racer and champion in the 5.5-Meter and Flying Dutchman. He helped bring international attention to the America’s Cup with his victory as defender in 1977 with the first aluminum 12-Meter, Courageous. In 1979 Turner skippered the 61-foot Tenacious to victory in the Fastnet race, which was marred by disaster when a fierce storm ravaged the fleet. In that same year, he won the Miami-Montego Bay race. Turner was awarded the Yachtsman of the Year award on four different occasions and was honored with the New York Yacht Club Commodore Medal in 2017.
Turner is the recipient of numerous honorary degrees, industry awards and civic honors, including being named TIME Magazine’s 1991 Man of the Year, Broadcasting and Cable’s Man of the Century in 1999 and one of TIME 100 World’s Most Influential People in 2009. Turner also received the 2011 Palazzo Strozzi Foundation’s Renaissance Man of the Year award, the Overseas Press Club Lifetime Achievement Award in 2012, was honored by the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences with the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 35th Annual Sports Emmy® Awards in 2014, was recognized with an official portrait unveiling at the National Portrait Gallery, also in 2014, received the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 35th Annual News & Documentary Emmy® Awards in 2015, was honored with the Forbes 400 Lifetime Achievement award for Philanthropy in 2016, and in 2017, was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award by the National Center for Civil and Human Rights, among many others.