CNN founder and cable legend Ted Turner jetted to a hospital in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Friday for surgery for appendicitis, according to several published reports.
According to Reuters, Turner was visiting property he owns in the Patagonia region of Argentina and checked into a local clinic Friday morning complaining of acute abdominal pain. Although Turner, 75, left that clinic on foot, according to reports, he later jetted to a hospital in the capital city of Buenos Aires for surgery.
“While traveling in South America, Ted Turner was admitted to a local hospital for observation,” said Turner Entertainment chief communications officer Phillip Evans in an e-mail statement. “Given it is our policy not to comment on his personal health, no further details will be provided.”
Turner is one of the largest individual landowners in the U.S. – he owns about 2 million acres in the U.S. and Argentina – and through his Turner Enterprises manages his land holdings and business investments as well as his philanthropic interests in ecology, renewable energy and nuclear disarmament. Turner also owns a chain of restaurants Ted’s Montana Grill and Turner Renewable Energy.
Turner built his father’s fledgling Atlanta television station into one of the largest broadcasters in the country – Turner Broadcasting System – along the way developing the concept of the Super Station and creating several channels for the then-nascent cable industry, including its first 24-hour news channel CNN. Turner sold Turner Broadcasting to Time Warner Inc. in 1995 and remained a strong voice in industry for years. He stepped down from the company in 2003, shortly after Time Warner’s merger with AOL, to devote more time to his philanthropic interests.