This week Forbes released a list of the 25 most generous people in the United States.
I love reading articles like these as they are positive and show the good people can do for their communities, and it is great to share positive, uplifting stories with readers.
Featured on the list was Atltanta's own Ted Turner. According to Forbes, Turner has given $ 1.4 billion to various organizations over his lifetime.
Let's take a quick look at his story.
The Atlanta billionaire
Turner is primarily known as the founder of Atlanta-based Cable News Network (CNN).
Turner started working at the age of 12 for his father's billboard company, Turner Advertising. His father committed suicide when Turner was 25, and he rebranded the firm as Turner Broadcasting.
He eventually sold Turner to Time Warner for $7.3 billion in stock in 1996. Turner has also owned the Atlanta Braves baseball team and the Atlanta Hawks NBA franchise.
Turner's first significant pledge was in 1998 when he completed a $1 billion commitment to establish the United Nations Foundation, enabling the U.N. to raise money from philanthropists.
The UN is vital to the future of humanity. We would not have made it through the Cold War without it. We need an international body where countries can work out differences and collaborate to find global solutions to global problems.”
He then established the Turner Foundation, which is focused on environmental protection, which he views as "an effort to ensure the survival of the human species."
It also helps bring in the new generation of philanthropists, as it allows Ted to "collaborate with his five children and his grandchildren, and discuss with them the ways in which they all can become and remain responsible philanthropists and environmentalists."
Ted Turner also signed the Giving Pledge, in which he promised to give away most of his fortune while he was still alive.
Looking back, if I had to live my life over, there are things I would do differently, but the one thing I would not change is my charitable giving. I'm particularly thankful for my father's advice to set goals so high that they can't possibly be achieved during a lifetime and to give help where help is needed most.
Turner is also committed to the environment.
Last year, he launched the Turner Institute of Eco-agriculture to "research and disseminate sustainable techniques for conserving ecosystems, agriculture, and rural communities."
What do you think of the charitable giving of Ted Turner? What organizations in Atlanta would you like to see him support?
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