"Shark Tank" star Mark Cuban is not a man who is easily impressed. Yet, the self-made billionaire considers one person to be the most talented entrepreneur he has ever come across: Ted Turner, the founder of CNN.
Cuban says his respect for the media mogul began at a young age because Turner did as he pleased. "He just went for it," says Cuban at the OZY Festival. "He was my role model as a kid."
Turner took over his father's company, Turner Outdoor Advertising, after his father died by suicide in 1963. The 24-year old expanded his father's enterprise into a media empire by acquiring small local radio stations and operating billboards throughout Georgia.
Turner, 78, first pitched the idea for CNN at the 1978 Western Cable Show, a cable industry trade show. At first, many of his fellow execs were against the idea, fearing that it would bankrupt the company, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
In an interview, the entrepreneur tells CNN that starting the network was a major challenge because "just about everybody that had an opinion didn't think we could do it."
Turner ignored the naysayers and founded the world's first 24-hour television news network, according to CNN. "I studied the situation and... I felt like I knew what I was doing," he says. "And it turned out that I did."