Ted Turner, media mogul and founder of CNN and Turner Broadcasting System, was admitted to a hospital in Buenos Aires while traveling in South America, his spokesman said Friday. The spokesman, Phillip Evans, did not indicate where specifically Turner was treated or for what ailment, saying, "It is our policy not to comment on his personal health." Evans said that Turner was hospitalized "for observation."
While Turner's spokesman has played it close to the vest, more information has come out of Argentina. Argentina's state-run Telam news agency reported that the 75-year-old was initially treated in Bariloche, a lakeside city near the Chilean border, about 1,500 kilometers (940 miles) southwest of Buenos Aires. Turner arrived at a clinic around 4 am (2 am ET), suffering from acute abdominal pain, according to clinic spokeswoman Paula Redondo. She told Telam that Turner was with a personal nurse and assistant at the time of his arrival. Turner is believed to have left the clinic after approximately four hours.
Doctors diagnosed the Turner with appendicitis and recommended that he undergo surgery. The philanthropist Turner was flown later that morning to the capital, Buenos Aires, to have the operation, according to Telam.
In 1970, Turner acquired TV stations in Charlotte, North Carolina, and Atlanta, which kickstarted a media empire that would one day include TBS, TNT, HLN, Cartoon Network, TCM, and CNN, which was launched in 1980. In 1996, Turner sold Turner Broadcasting to Time Warner, though he remained active in the business for several more years.
Personally, Ted Turner has a certain fondness for South America. He owns three ranches, including a large ranch in Argentina's Patagonia region, and "La Primavera," a 11,000-acre ranch along the Traful river in Argentina's Nahuel Huapi National Park. The ranch hosts private expeditions and boasts some of the world's best trout fishing and hunting. Wild animals include deer, boar, quail, mountain lions and birds. In the past, Turner has received assorted complaints from neighbors that they have been prevented them from accessing the river, as it runs through his property. Turner's property managers have consistently denied those claims.
In 1991, after a brief courtship, Turner married activist Jane Fonda. The pair remained married for ten years, divorcing in 2001. Turner wrote in his memoir, Call Me Ted, that the two have remained friends after the divorce. Turner also states that Fonda's religious conversion did not cause the divorce, but that he was upset that she didn't tell him of it prior to the major life change.
In terms of philanthropy, Ted Turner has almost no one he can call a peer, outside of Bill Gates or Warren Buffet. Turner donated $1 billion to the United Nations in 1997.
As more details emerge regarding Turner's health, The Inquisitr will be there to provide updates.
[Image via ReleaseGreece.com]