Former Nationals owner Ted Lerner dies at 97

Nov 2, 2019; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Nationals owner Ted Lerner and Washington Nationals first baseman Ryan Zimmerman (11) hold the trophy at World Series Championship Parade. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Ted Lerner, a self-made billionaire real-estate developer who became owner of the Washington Nationals, died at his home Sunday in Chevy Chase, Md. He was 97.

Lerner, who celebrated a World Series championship in the nation’s capital in 2019, died of complications from pneumonia, a team spokesperson confirmed Monday.

“From his humble beginnings as an usher in Washington D.C.’s old Griffith Stadium, to the ushering in of a new era of championship baseball in his hometown, Mr. Lerner literally and figuratively built a legacy through his signature mix of tenacity and humility,” the team said in a statement. “Guided by love for his family and passion for his hometown, Mr. Lerner dedicated his life to the creation of a better city and a winning ball club.”

Lerner purchased the floundering franchise for $450 million in 2006, one year after the Nationals relocated to his hometown from Montreal. He ceded control to his son, Mark, in 2018.

The 2019 World Series championship against the Houston Astros was the first in Washington, D.C., since the Senators’ 1924 title.

He is survived by his wife of 71 years, Annette, and three children, nine grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren.

The Lerner family is also a partner in Monumental Sports & Entertainment, which owns the NHL’s Washington Capitals, the NBA’s Washington Wizards and the WNBA’s Washington Mystics.

–Field Level Media

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