The man who bought the Washington Nationals after they left Montreal, business tycoon Theodore “Ted” Lerner, died Sunday at the age of 97.
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According to the Washington Post, the billionaire died of complications from pneumonia at his home in Chevy Chase, Maryland.
In 2006, Lerner bought the Nationals for a modest $450 million. Major League Baseball had owned the franchise for a year after moving from Montreal. He was thus the first owner of the new expo.
The businessman founded his company Lerner Enterprises in 1952, which became the largest private owner in the Washington metro area.
“The feat of his family business was bringing baseball back to the city he loved — bringing home a first championship since 1924. He appreciated this franchise and what it brought to his hometown,” the Nationals wrote in a statement.
On his 94th birthday, on October 15, 2019, the team from the American capital realized its owner’s dream and won the World Series at the expense of the Houston Astros.
In April 2022, the Nationals announced they had begun an exploratory process to sell the team. Ted Lerner handed over management of the club to his son Mark in 2018.