Ted Lerner
Ted Lerner

Ted Lerner, owner of the Nationals, dies at age 97

WASHINGTON  – Ted Lerner, the real estate billionaire whose family acquired the Washington Nationals in 2006, has died, the baseball team announced Monday. He was 97 years old.

A Nationals spokesman said Lerner died Sunday from complications caused by pneumonia at his residence in Chevy Chase, Md.

Lerner’s consortium bought the Nationals by paying $450 million to Major League Baseball after the franchise moved to the federal capital from Montreal, where it played for more than three decades as the Expos. He was the principal owner until he relinquished that role to his son Mark in 2018.

Under the Lerner family’s stewardship, the Nationals went from being one of the worst teams in the majors in their first few seasons in Washington to being crowned World Series champions in 2019. The Lerners were also credited with revitalizing the city’s Navy Yard district with the opening of Nationals Park ballpark in 2008.

“It is with great sadness that we have to announce the passing of founding owner Theodore N. Lerner,” the team said in a statement. “The great accomplishment of his family business was bringing baseball back to the city he loved, and in doing so bringing a championship for the first time since 1924. He loved the franchise and all it brought to his beloved hometown.”

Last year, the Lerner family probed selling the team, which is worth $2 billion, according to Forbes. The publication estimates the family’s fortune is worth $6.6 billion thanks to the Nationals and Lerner Enterprises, one of the largest property owners in the Washington area.

Ashley Johnson
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