Dr. Sanjay Gupta interviewed Ted Turner this morning at Bill Clinton's Global Initiative meetings in Manhattan. Here are the highlights from the transcript:
On what motivated Ted Turner to donate $1 billion to establish the United Nations Foundation
GUPTA: Nearly 10 years ago, you decided to give away $1 billion. This whole spirit of philanthropy, what motivated you to give at that time?
TURNER: Well a lot of it actually came from starting CNN, learning about all of the problems that there were in the world, because as you know, we emphasized international news, so while we were doing it, I learned about a lot that was going on overseas and particularly the thing that triggered it is the United States was not paying its dues to the U.N. at that time and we were a couple of years in the rear, so and about $1 billion and the U.N. couldn't pay its bills. And so I was trying to figure, well I said I have $1 billion. I'll just step up and see if I can fill the gap for a while.
On the issues facing the world that Ted Turner sees as most pressing for our times
TURNER: Well the two things that I'm most concerned about are the nuclear arsenals and the fact that they are still on hair-trigger alert, the Russian and American arsenals and if something were to go wrong or a mistake and they get accidentally launched, it's the end of the world in an afternoon. I think that's probably the greatest danger that we face.
And the second one is probably global warming. So those are the two that I'm most concerned about, but I'm concerned about AIDS and measles and malaria, too. The U.N. Foundation is -- takes a holistic view and tries to help out at least some in every area. We still got to finish eradicating polio, too. So we don't let it come out of the bottle again.
GUPTA: It's amazing how many countries still have people who get polio every year.
TURNER: That's right, three or four. But we're 98 percent of the way there. But there's a lot of donor fatigue and it's not as sexy right now as HIV-AIDS or measles or malaria. But the very fact that we're close to eradicating we ought to go ahead and finish doing the job.
Here is the full interview from American Morning.
Thank you to CNN for the info and Cyn for the video. ~Sheryn