In celebration of his continued efforts to protect and strengthen the natural world, media mogul and philanthropist Ted Turner will receive the prestigious Lady Bird Johnson Environmental Award for 2015.
"Just as he paved a daring new path in the 1980s with the creation of CNN, Ted Turner continues to innovate today as an environmentalist and advocate of clean, renewable energy sources," Larry Temple, chairman of the LBJ Foundation, said in a statement. "His remarkable commitment to protect and preserve our natural world embodies the very spirit of Lady Bird Johnson and her own life's work."
For those not familiar with Claudia Alta Taylor "Lady Bird" Johnson, the former first lady and wife of President Lyndon B. Johnson was a passionate environmentalist, serving on the National Park Service Advisory Board, co-founding the National Wildflower Research Center, and becoming the first woman to serve on National Geographic's Board of Trustees. Her influence in expanding conservation also extended to the White House, where the Johnson administration passed about 200 laws related to the environment.
Turner joins an exclusive club of those honored with past LBJ Environmental Awards, including former senator and environmental champion John Chafee, conservationist and philanthropist Laurance Rockefeller, former president of the Nature Conservancy Patrick Noonan, and former chief of the U.S. Forestry Service Michael Dombeck. The 76-year-old Turner, the second-largest private landowner in North America with some 2 million acres of personal and ranch land, is also a staunch conservationist and environmentalist, having given more than $300 million through his Ted Turner Foundation to hundreds of green organizations.
"It's Planet Earth. The whole place," he writes on his foundation page. "I've been from the Arctic to the rain forest to the equator to the desert. I've been in over 70 countries. I love this world. I want to see humanity succeed, and learn to live in peace and harmony with the environment and each other."
Turner will be honored at a gala ceremony, hosted by CNN's Wolf Blitzer, on May 21 at the LBJ Presidential Library in Austin, Texas.
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