- Ted Turner confirms he "underwent a minor surgical procedure due to appendicitis"
- "I am humbled by this experience," the CNN founder says
- Turner was hospitalized in Argentina Friday
CNN and Turner Broadcasting System founder Ted Turner says he's "recuperating well" after falling ill South America.
Turner, 75, confirmed in a statement issued Monday that he "underwent a minor surgical procedure due to appendicitis" during a "brief hospital stay" in Argentina.
Turner's spokesman previously declined to reveal why he was hospitalized last Friday, saying only that he was there "for observation."
Argentina's state-run Telam news agency reported Turner was initially treated in Bariloche, a lakeside city near the Chilean border, about 1,500 kilometers (940 miles) southwest of Buenos Aires. He was suffering from acute abdominal pain, according to clinic spokeswoman Paula Redondo.
Turner was flown later that morning to the capital of Buenos Aires to have surgery, according to Telam.
"I'm happy to report I'm recuperating well and looking forward to getting back to business as usual," Turner said Monday in his statement. "The doctors and medical staff at both hospitals in Bariloche and Buenos Aires were amazing and took really good care of me."
He said he was heading back to the United States.
"To my family, current and former colleagues and everyone else who called, sent notes of encouragement and get well wishes, I can't thank you enough for lifting my spirits during my ordeal," he said. "During moments like this I tend to reflect on the past, and while I have dealt with many difficult situations in my lifetime, I am humbled by this experience and will be forever grateful to you all."
Soon after graduating from Brown University and serving in the U.S. Coast Guard, Turner took over the family business -- Turner Advertising -- in 1963. Seven years later, he bought TV stations in Charlotte, North Carolina, and Atlanta to kickstart a media empire that would one day include TBS, TNT, HLN, Cartoon Network, TCM and CNN, which launched in 1980.
In 1996, Turner sold Turner Broadcasting to Time Warner, though he remained active in the business for several more years.
Besides his business ventures -- including the Ted's Montana Grill chain and the renewable energy company RT Solar -- Turner has been one of the United States most generous philanthropists, including a $1 billion donation to the United Nations in 1997.