Robert Edward "Ted" Turner '60
Year Inducted: 1974
Robert Edward “Ted” Turner ’60 is the Bobby Orr of his profession, probably the top ocean racer in the world. In both 1970 and 1974, Turner won the Martini and Rossi Yachtsman of the Year Award, the highest honor that anyone can bestow in racing and the equivalent of football’s Heisman Trophy. In 1970, Turner won this award by beating out Bill Ficker, who had just successfully defended the America’s Cup. This year, Turner won the award in a cakewalk. Ted Turner has won just about every major race in the world. There is one exception – the new Around the World Race, scheduled for 1975, a 190-day race with two legs, each one 14,000 miles. Turner hasn’t won this one because he hasn’t entered it yet. Sometimes, Turner can win two major races at the same time. In 1970, while racing in the Southern Circuit competition, he took two days off, flew to Australia, won the coveted Gold Cup there, then flew back to the States, picked up where he left off, and still managed to win the Southern Circuit. Turner started when he was a boy, sailing in the Penguin, a racing dinghy that in gusty weather has no more stability than a soap dish. He soon became known as “Turnover Turner, the Capsize Kid.” During his Brown years he was undefeated as a collegiate dinghy sailor, was captain of the sailing team, Commodore of the Brown Yacht Club, and a member of Kappa Sigma fraternity. Turner won three national titles in close-circuit sailing – Y-Flyer, Flying Dutchman, and 5.5-meter – before he went to ocean racing in 1964. A gung-ho sailor, Turner has earned the reputation of a man who drives self, crew and boat to the limit, a man who plays hard inside the rules. Ted Turner plays just as hard in the business world, where he is president of Turner Communications Corporation of Atlanta, an amalgam of billboard companies and radio and TV stations.