Real Estate Titan and Nationals Owner Ted Lerner Dead at 97


Ted Lerner, real estate mogul and owner of Major League Baseball’s Washington Nationals, died Feb. 12 at the age of 97. 

The cause of his death was complications from pneumonia, according to a spokesperson with the Nationals.

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Lerner founded Rockville, Md.-based Lerner Enterprises. Over the course of 60 years, Lerner built the company into one of the largest private developers in the country, with more than 20 million square feet of shopping malls and housing in its portfolio. 

In 1962, Lerner developed Tysons Corner Center, one of the first large-scale malls in the U.S. that would become a prototype for the quintessential shopping mall of the late 20th century. Other notable Lerner developments include Tysons II, Dulles Town Center, White Flint, Wheaton Plaza and numerous properties around Nationals Park.

Lerner acquired the Washington Nationals in 2006 and was there to help raise the championship flag when the team won its first World Series in 2019. Though the Lerner family still owns the franchise, Ted transferred control of the Nationals to his son Mark in 2018, and the team is currently up for sale.

The Lerner family has an estimated net worth of $6.6 billion as of 2022, according to Forbes magazine.

The family is also a minority owner of Monumental Sports & Entertainment, headed by Ted Leonsis. Monumental operates Capital One Arena and owns several additional sports franchises: NHL’s Washington Capitals, NBA’s Washington Wizards and WNBA’s Washington Mystics.

“He built this city, built Tysons Corner,” Leonsis wrote on his Twitter account. “The Lerner name is impeccable everywhere. He won a World Series for the fans of the Nationals. Family first. Husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, business icon and giant. Will never be another like Mr. Ted Lerner.” 

Keith Loria can be reached at