Call Me Ted

Call Me Ted

3.9 31
by Ted Turner, Bill Burke

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"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 the colorful, energetic, and unique style that has made Ted into one of the most amazing personalities of our time. Along the way - among his numerous accomplishments — Ted became

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"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 the colorful, energetic, and unique style that has made Ted into one of the most amazing personalities of our time. Along the way - among his numerous accomplishments — Ted became one of the richest men in the world, the largest land owner in the United States, revolutionized the television business with the creation of TBS and CNN, became a champion sailor and winner of the America's Cup, and took home a World Series championship trophy in 1995 as owner of the Atlanta Braves. An innovative entrepreneur, outspoken nonconformist, and groundbreaking philanthropist, Ted Turner is truly a living legend, and now, for the first time, he reveals his personal story. From his difficult childhood to the successful launch of his media empire to the catastrophic AOL/Time Warner deal, Turner spares no details or feelings and takes the reader along on a wild and sometimes bumpy ride. You'll also hear Ted's personal take on how we can save the world...share his experiences in the dugout on the day when he appointed himself as 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 details about his dealings with Fidel Castro, Mikhail Gorbachev, Jimmy Carter, Bill Gates, Jack Welch, Warren Buffett, and many more of the most influential people of the past half century. Ted also doesn't shrink from the darker and more intimate details of his life. With his usual frankness, he discusses a childhood of loneliness (he was left at a boarding school by his parents at the tender age of four), and the emotional impact of devastating losses (Ted's beloved sister died at seventeen and his hard-charging father committed suicide when Ted was still in his early twenties). Turner is also forthcoming about his marriages, including the one to Oscar-winning actress, Jane Fonda. Along the way, Ted's friends, colleagues, and family are equally revealing in their unique "Ted Stories" which are peppered throughout the book. Jane Fonda, especially, provides intriguing insights into Ted's inner drive and character. In CALL ME TED, you'll hear Ted Turner's distinctive voice on every page. Always forthright, he tells you what makes him tick and what ticks him off, and delivers an honest account of what he's all about. Inspiring and entertaining, CALL ME TED sheds new light on one of the greatest visionaries of our time.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Turner's straightforward yet surprisingly charming delivery makes this a must-hear. Famous for his triumphs (defending the America's Cup; creating CNN; marrying Jane Fonda; buying the Atlanta Braves; starting the Goodwill Games; donating $1 billion to the U.N.), it's the telling in his own voice of his life's tragedies (his father's suicide; the protracted, painful death of his beloved only sibling; the failure of three marriages; his ouster from CNN) that is not only riveting, but proves that it's possible to feel sorry for the country's largest landowner. "Ted Stories"-short entries contributed by friends and foes alike and read ably by Nick Sullivan, Richmond Hoxie, Sherman Howard and Maggie-Meg Reed - vary from the comedic (an up-tempo rendition of a Brown classmate's piece, "We Didn't Know Shit") to being so beautifully written and recited as to bring tears (Fonda's two essays). There's also an audiobook bonus: a conversation between Wolf Blitzer and his former CNN boss. A Grand Central hardcover (Reviews, Nov. 10). (Oct.)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Library Journal

The much-written-about media mogul finally tells his own story, including his ability to draw strength from adversity and challenge, his risky decision-making, and his frayed personal life. Listeners will find it difficult to turn away from this force of nature as he barks out his story with a slight Southern twang (other readers include Nick Sullivan, Richmond Hoxie, Sherman Howard, and Maggie-Meg Reed). Highly recommended for public libraries. [Audio clip available through; bonus conversation between Turner and Wolf Blitzer.-Ed.]
—Judith Robinson

Product Details

Grand Central Publishing
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Hachette Digital, Inc.
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Call Me Ted 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 31 reviews.
Julia19 More than 1 year ago
I just read this book and was very pleased. The anecdotes were touching and entertaining, and I enjoyed the personal style in which it was written. He has had an amazing life, and is actually someone who deserves to pen his own autobiography unlike some of the other self-indulgent celebrities whose books are shallow and vain. I felt like I really got to know him, and identified with his love of nature. Overall, an incredible book.
checkmate More than 1 year ago
Here's a self-made guy that has had a complex and most successful life which fills up the contents of this book. After seeing him interviewed on tv, had to buy it. I was intrigued with his childhood, father's expectations, demons, financial bounce backs and life with Jane. Still wondering why he doesn't like to be alone.

You won't be disappointed. Over 400 pages, but a fast fascinating read.
btauthor More than 1 year ago
It's the kind of true story I love to read. How a person built a business or empire on their own. With metal sweat and some sleepless nights to get to the goals you set and then even bigger goals. Knowing when to get out is also a quality that few have. Ted's giving has also inspired me to look at my own business and share the success. Great book on CD and I will listen many times over the years.
JJBW More than 1 year ago
Ted Turner is an amazing man who seems to "hold no bars" when it comes to doing things. With "Ted" being all over the map in various endeavors (literally and figuratively), I was very curious to hear his story of his accomplishments and failures, and not some reporter's version. I was not disappointed to read his story. It is amazing and extremely well written. I was also intrigued by the various stories of other people close to Ted, who contributed short stories at the beginning of the chapters. All in all, this is an incredible biography, of an incredible-complex man, who is well known
irshrow More than 1 year ago
I recently saw Ted Turner on CNN's Lou Dobbs show, hawking his book, but more reminiscing about the old days at CNN; he then confronted Lou with some of his strident anti-illegal immigrant postures and delightfully put Lou on the defensive unlike any heavyweight that had ever appeared on the program. And he never raised his voice.

So I wanted to read his book. And it is a very good autobiography, surprisingly frank and succinct in describing his motivation, his business acumen, moreover his honesty and character as a businessman. It's well-written.

The reader gets a full-screen look at his vision, his foibles, his personal life, his triumphs and his disappointments. The comments by others that are spread throughout the book are revealing. Jeremy Levin exposes himself right in the book for what Ted Turner ultimately chided as being a less than honest "best friend" performance.

Jane says, toward the end of the book and their marriage that she was headed in another direction, having been overcome with a new sense of spirituality. At a time when taxpayers are bailing out Wall Street and corporate America, the vision, the work ethic and the straightforward integrity of Ted Turner revealed in this book is just the kind of gospel that business people should be reading. And he offers yet more vision and advice to the reader-entrepreneur regarding energy and the future of green industries in the world.

You really like Ted when you finish this book. You're left wishing Jane Fonda would give him another chance.
dhDH More than 1 year ago
I was looking forward to reading CALL ME TED, but being busy and multitasking, I decided to by the CD version.

I listen and re-listen to Ted's story. What amazed me most about this package was that Ted recorded every page of his 500 page book while recovering in the hospital - it took him 40 to 45 hours to record.

This in itself is a world breaking record to begin with. Does he understand what being tired means? I don't think so... you can hear his voice weakening in some moments, but that was the best part of why I find it inspirational.

They keep saying that his life was difficult, or his childhood was a complex one. At that time not many kids had the brightest of childhoods, but none of them were like Ted. He was about what you want for tomorrow in your life, and how you want the day after tomorrow to unfold. That is Ted Turner to me as his reader (or in this case, listener). He is a hard working, very intelligent and creative, long vision and determined, most honest, loving, caring, and a patriot to the core. What is most important, Ted Turner, achieved all of this alone, he created ideas all alone, he managed to make it happen all alone, and he stands all alone. I read almost every biography of successful people and by far this one tops them all. I am very thankful to be able to read someone's life as great as his in a most straight to the point and yet inspiring way. Whatever happens behind closed doors in his real life, this is what we need to see and read, to feel inspired, and this book did it for me. Thank you.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love biographies, especially good ones that tell the truth about a person that you would never know otherwise (as opposed to their own shiny account of who they are). Call Me Ted does not disappoint.

First of all, a book about a guy who is hugely successful and admits "I don't spend a lot of time dwelling on the past or thinking about myself," is bound to be interesting so long as it is honest. And it is. You get a detailed look at Ted's life, including insight from competitors, his ex-wife Jane Fonda, etc. You get the whole story. His life wasn't easy: from the death of his sister to his father committing suicide, he had to battle for his wealth in the early days. He dropped out of college and worked at the bottom of his dad's billboard company before he committed suicide. From there he takes you through every step of making the billboard company into a media empire. Including his own challenges with winning, intimacy in relationships, and the challenges we all end up facing in life.

I did a lot of reading this week and have another book I have to recommend. It's called The Emotional Intelligence Quick Book and it's a fascinating exploration of the other kind of intelligence we all possess but few put to use.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very generous, and honest willing to share his path to wealth. Enjoyed it very much. Went a bit overboard with the sailing but it is his passion so he was honest in sharing even that. Definitely recommended.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ted Turner is a well accomplished man and very inspiring to read as he has turned from the business focus to helping humanity. Truly an inspiration.
Dr_Wilson_Trivino More than 1 year ago
One individual who has changed the way in which we view the world is Ted Turner. This man who brought us 24 hours news now shares his story in his autobiography Call Me Ted. This book does not hold back as Turner speaks to his successes and failures. At 24, his father shot himself, Ted was thrown into the family sign business and so began his rise in the world of business. Time and time again, he would bet everything on an opportunity to do things on a grand scale. This story covers the origins of the Turner Broadcast System, to the purchase of the Braves, and the eventual start of CNN. Turner also shares his failed relationships, especially with Jane Fonda, to how merging with Time Warner was an absolute disaster. As always Turner, has rebounded and has started the bison serving Ted¿s Montana Grill and his continual fight for the environment the end of nuclear threat by dismantling the weapon arsenal around the world. A fast paced book, Call Me Ted captures the essence of this man who still is on the move.
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Tomeperuser More than 1 year ago
This book had me reading during the night and during the day until it was completed, like a John Grisham novel. Well written, answered all the questions I had from prior newspaper reports that were incomplete in my memory, and it was good to become acquainted with Ted, whom I came to like and whose achievements I appreciate very much, especially his sailing career, his gifting of a billion dollars to the UN and his becoming the largest landowner in the US, which I had not heard about before. I gave the book to a highly respected friend to read just as soon as I finished it. Five stars in all categories. A truly great read, highly recommended.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have admired Ted Turner for years. So to read his book was an absolute joy. It is a great read and I recommend it to everyone.
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