After his Jewish parents fled Germany because of the rise of the Nazis, Ted was born in Lancashire, England. He graduated from Syracuse University with a Bachelor of Science degree. He also graduated Stanford University with a Master of Arts degree in political science and mass communications research.
He first started working at ABC in 1963. He started out as a foreign correspondent, and 17 years later obtained the position of lead anchorman for Nightline. He left that position on November 22, 2005. Overall, he worked at ABC for 42 years.
Since his departure from Nightline, he has become a senior correspondent for Discovery Channel.