Ted Lerner 101: A Successful Entrepreneur
Zatrun Published at June 22, 2023

In our article titled “Ted Lerner 101: Successful Entrepreneur,” we will delve into everything you need to know about Ted Lerner, the successful entrepreneur who piques the interest of our readers at We will provide a detailed overview of his accomplishments and endeavors.

Ted Lerner

Who is Ted Lerner?

Theodore Nathan Lerner (October 15, 1925 – February 12, 2023) was an American real estate developer and the principal owner of the Washington Nationals baseball team. He founded the real estate company, Lerner Enterprises, and was the largest private landowner in the Washington metropolitan area. His company owned commercial, retail, residential, and hotel properties, and also owned Chelsea Piers in New York City. In 2015, Forbes magazine named him the wealthiest person in Maryland.

Ted Lerner was the eldest of three children born to an Orthodox Jewish family in Northwest Washington, D.C. His parents, Ethel and Mayer, had immigrated from Lithuania and the British Mandate of Palestine (now Israel), respectively. He attended Raymond Elementary School and McFarland Junior High before graduating from Roosevelt High School in 1944. Lerner served in the US Army as a typist during the end of World War II. He used the G.I. Bill to attend George Washington University, earning an Associate of Arts degree in 1947 and an L.L.B. degree from the George Washington University Law School in 1949. While in law school, he became interested in real estate by selling homes on weekends.

Career Life:

In 1952, Ted Lerner borrowed $250 with his wife in Rockville, Maryland to establish Lerner Enterprises, a real estate company. Lerner Enterprises includes partnerships in a 30-acre (12-hectare) sports and entertainment complex, Chelsea Piers, located on the Hudson River; commercial developments such as Tysons II; shopping centers like White Flint and Dulles Town Center; thousands of homes and apartments, and numerous office buildings. Lerner also played a role in the development of other shopping centers in the Washington region, such as Tysons Corner Center and Wheaton Plaza. The Lerner Enterprises headquarters in Rockville is the first Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) platinum-certified multi-tenant commercial building in the D.C. area, and has won multiple design and environmental awards.

Washington Nationals: The Washington Nationals franchise, previously known as the Montreal Expos, was owned and operated by Major League Baseball from February 15, 2002 until the official ownership transfer on July 24, 2006. The Lerner family owns over 90% of the shares, making them the majority owner of the franchise. Lerner retired from his position as managing principal owner in 2018 and was succeeded by his son Mark Lerner. Under Lerner’s ownership, the Nationals won four National League East championships and participated in the postseason five times. Lerner won a World Series ring in 2019 when the Nationals defeated the Houston Astros.

Monumental Sports & Entertainment: The Lerner family is also a partner in Monumental Sports & Entertainment, which owns the National Hockey League’s Washington Capitals, the Women’s National Basketball Association’s Washington Mystics, the National Basketball Association’s Washington Wizards, and Capital One Arena.

Donations and Commendations:

The Annette M. and Theodore N. Lerner Family Foundation provides support to many organizations, including Food & Friends, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Shady Grove Adventist Hospital, Hadley’s Park, Weizmann Institute of Science, Scleroderma Foundation of Greater Washington, YouthAids, Junior Achievement of the Greater Washington Area, Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School, and Jewish Community Center of Greater Washington. Ted and his wife Annette are founding members of the US Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington D.C. In 1990, Ted Lerner was awarded the Excellence Golden Plate Award by the American Academy of Achievement.

The Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School campus in Rockville was named in honor of him and his wife Annette following a multimillion-dollar donation to the school. The dining hall at the Melvin J. Berman Hebrew Academy was donated by the Lerner family. The family also donated the Lerner Family Health and Wellness Center and the Theodore Lerner Auditorium at George Washington University, the Lerner Center at the Hebrew University of Washington D.C., and the Imagination Stage theater in Maryland.

Notable achievements include:

  • 1990 American Academy of Achievement’s Golden Plate Award for Excellence
  • Induction into the Washington Business Hall of Fame by Junior Achievement of the National Capital Area in 2003
  • Induction into the Greater Washington Jewish Sports Hall of Fame in 2007
  • Induction into the Washington DC Sports Hall of Fame in 2015.

Personal Life and Death:

Ted Lerner married Annette M. Lerner on June 17, 1951, and they had three children: Mark D. Lerner (married to Judy Lenkin Lerner), Debra Lerner Cohen (married to Edward L. Cohen), and Marla Lerner Tanenbaum (married to Robert K. Tanenbaum). Ted Lerner had nine grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren.

His daughter Marla Lerner Tanenbaum is the President of The Annette M. and Theodore N. Lerner Family Foundation, as well as the President of Washington Nationals Philanthropies and Washington Nationals Youth Baseball Academy. The Lerner family are the sole owners and heirs of Lerner Enterprises.

Ted Lerner passed away at the age of 97 on February 12, 2023, at his home in Chevy Chase, Maryland, due to pneumonia.

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