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The Foundation Center

PHILANTHROPY NEWS DIGEST
Vol. 2, Issue 38
September 18, 1996

Ted Turner Says the Super Rich Need a New List

When media mogul Ted Turner donated more than $200 million to charity two years ago, he reportedly felt a tremor. "My hand shook when I signed the papers," he recalled in an interview with Maureen Dowd of The New York Times, "because I knew I was taking myself out of the running for the richest man in America." Instead of the joy of giving, Turner says, he was consumed by the fear of falling off the Forbes "Four Hundred" list of wealthiest Americans. "That list is destroying our country," he said. "These new super-rich won't loosen up their wads because they're afraid they'll reduce their net worth and [wind up lower] on the list. That's their Super Bowl." Turner says he'd like to see an annual list of the most generous philanthropists. "I talked to both Bill Gates and Warren Buffett, the two richest men in the country, and they would be inclined to give more if there was a list of who did the giving rather than the having."

Dowd, Maureen. "Ted's Excellent Idea." Liberties. New York Times 8/22/96, p. A25.

See also: Littwin, Mike. "The Mega-Rich Holding Tight to Their List." St. Louis Post-Dispatch 9/5/96, p. 1G.

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