Long & Foster co-founder Wes Foster dies

P. Wesley “Wes” Foster, who co-founded real estate empire Long & Foster Real Estate, has died. (Courtesy Long & Foster Real Estate)

P. Wesley “Wes” Foster, who co-founded real estate empire Long & Foster Real Estate, has died. He was 89.

Long & Foster gave no cause of death.

Foster and then-partner Henry Long started Long & Foster in 1968 as a small residential real estate brokerage. A coin toss decided whose name would go first in naming the company.

Merrill Lynch offered Foster and his partner a buyout in 1979, but Foster declined, instead buying out Long’s half of the business.

Long died in 2020 at 83.

Today, Chantilly, Virginia-based Long & Foster has more than 300 offices and 8,500 agents and employees throughout the Mid-Atlantic and East Coast. It runs a number of real estate-related businesses, including insurance, mortgage, title, property management, inspections and vacation rentals.

In 2017, Berkshire Hathaway’s HomeServices of America acquired Long & Foster.

Foster graduated from the Virginia Military Institute in 1956 and served in the U.S. Army, stationed in Germany. His D.C. career began selling aluminum siding to homebuilders, before taking sales rolls at real estate companies.

In 2006, VMI’s football stadium was rededicated as the P. Wesley Foster Jr. Stadium, after Foster made a significant donation to the school to update its football facilities, where he had played. Foster held multiple roles with VMI foundations and boards.

Foster is survived by his wife, two sons, one daughter and six grandchildren.

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Jeff Clabaugh

Jeff Clabaugh has spent 20 years covering the Washington region's economy and financial markets for WTOP as part of a partnership with the Washington Business Journal, and officially joined the WTOP newsroom staff in January 2016.

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