Ted Lerner steps down as Nationals’ managing principal owner

Ted Lerner is seen with Capitals President Dick Patrick and Capitals owner Ted Leonsis with the Stanley Cup at Nationals Park on Saturday, July 9, 2018. (WTOP/Jonathan Warner)
Ted Lerner is seen with Capitals President Dick Patrick and Capitals owner Ted Leonsis with the Stanley Cup at Nationals Park on Saturday, July 9, 2018. (WTOP/Jonathan Warner)

Washington Nationals owner Ted Lerner tries on a baseball cap before a ribbon cutting ceremony to open The Ballpark of the Palm beaches before of a spring training baseball game against the Houston Astros Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2017 in West Palm Beach, Fla. The stadium will serve as spring home for both Washington Nationals and Houston Astros. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
Washington Nationals owner Ted Lerner tries on a baseball cap before a ribbon cutting ceremony to open The Ballpark of the Palm beaches before of a spring training baseball game against the Houston Astros Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2017 in West Palm Beach, Fla. The stadium will serve as spring home for both Washington Nationals and Houston Astros. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

Washington Nationals principal owner Mark Lerner watches batting practices before the start of an interleague baseball game between the New York Yankees and Washington Nationals at Nationals Park, Tuesday, May 15, 2018, in Washington. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
Washington Nationals principal owner Mark Lerner watches batting practices before the start of an interleague baseball game between the New York Yankees and Washington Nationals at Nationals Park, Tuesday, May 15, 2018, in Washington. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Washington Nationals first baseman Ryan Zimmerman, left, shakes hands with Washington Nationals owner Mark Lerner before the home opener baseball game against the New York Mets at Nationals Park, Thursday, April 5, 2018, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
Washington Nationals first baseman Ryan Zimmerman, left, shakes hands with Washington Nationals owner Mark Lerner before the home opener baseball game against the New York Mets at Nationals Park, Thursday, April 5, 2018, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

(1/4)
Ted Lerner is seen with Capitals President Dick Patrick and Capitals owner Ted Leonsis with the Stanley Cup at Nationals Park on Saturday, July 9, 2018. (WTOP/Jonathan Warner)
Washington Nationals owner Ted Lerner tries on a baseball cap before a ribbon cutting ceremony to open The Ballpark of the Palm beaches before of a spring training baseball game against the Houston Astros Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2017 in West Palm Beach, Fla. The stadium will serve as spring home for both Washington Nationals and Houston Astros. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
Washington Nationals principal owner Mark Lerner watches batting practices before the start of an interleague baseball game between the New York Yankees and Washington Nationals at Nationals Park, Tuesday, May 15, 2018, in Washington. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
Washington Nationals first baseman Ryan Zimmerman, left, shakes hands with Washington Nationals owner Mark Lerner before the home opener baseball game against the New York Mets at Nationals Park, Thursday, April 5, 2018, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

WASHINGTON — Ted Lerner, 92, has stepped down as managing principal owner of the Washington Nationals, and his son Mark will now take over.

Major League Baseball formally approved Mark Lerner, 64, as the team’s “control person” during its quarterly ownership meeting in New York City Thursday, the Nationals said in a news release. Mark Lerner has been a principal owner since the Lerner family bought the baseball team.

“Owning a baseball team in my hometown had long been a dream of mine,” said Ted Lerner, in the release.  “Twelve years ago, when Major League Baseball selected my family as the owners of the Washington Nationals, I could not have been happier.”

The 92-year-old Lerner was born in Washington, D.C. and is a current resident of Chevy Chase, Maryland. He founded the real estate company Lerner Enterprises in 1952. The company has developed more than 20 million square feet of real estate. His son, Mark, has been active in running the ball club with his father and family.

mark lerner and Gio Gonzalez
Mark Lerner talks with Gio Gonzalez at spring training for the Nationals. (WTOP/Jonathan Warner)

“Since being awarded the team in 2006, my family has taken great pride in our fans and this team,” Mark Lerner said. “We have always strived for excellence both on and off the field. That will not change. Our family will continue to put our fans first and do everything possible to bring a World Series trophy to D.C.”

Mark Lerner took time away from the day-to-day business of the club last year while he received treatments for cancer in his left leg. His leg had to be amputated after Spindle Cell Sarcoma was discovered above his knee. He had radiation in March 2017 and cancer surgery a month later. 

The younger Lerner last August said that he was healing well and cancer-free.

The Lerner family is the majority owner of the Washington Nationals franchise, controlling over 90 percent of the shares. The family is also a partner in Monumental Sports & Entertainment, which owns the Washington Capitals hockey team, the Washington Wizards basketball team, the Washington Mystics basketball team and Valor, the Arena Football League team, as well as Capital One Arena.

 

Dave Preston

Dave has been in the D.C. area for 10 years and in addition to working at WTOP since 2002 has also been on the air at Westwood One/CBS Radio as well as Red Zebra Broadcasting (Redskins Network).

Colleen Kelleher

Colleen Kelleher is an award-winning journalist who has been with WTOP since 1996. Kelleher joined WTOP as the afternoon radio writer and night and weekend editor and made the move to WTOP.com in 2001. Now she works early mornings as the site's Senior Digital Editor.

More from WTOP

Log in to your WTOP account for notifications and alerts customized for you.

Sign up