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Washington Nationals owner Ted Lerner dies at 97

Ted Lerner (L) and the Washington Nationals' current ownership group purchased the team for $450 million in 2006 from MLB. File Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI
1 of 5 | Ted Lerner (L) and the Washington Nationals' current ownership group purchased the team for $450 million in 2006 from MLB. File Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI | License Photo

Feb. 13 (UPI) -- Ted Lerner, the founding principal owner of the Washington Nationals, died after battling complications from pneumonia, the team announced Monday. He was 97.

The Nationals said Lerner died Sunday at his home in Chevy Chase, Md.

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"The crowning achievement of his family business was bringing baseball back to the city he loved -- and with it, bringing a championship home for the first time since 1924," the Nationals said in a news release.

"He cherished the franchise and what it brought to his beloved hometown."

Lerner, a real estate magnate, became the managing principal owner of the Nationals in 2006, when his ownership group purchased the team from MLB for $450 million. The franchise, previously known as the Montreal Expos, was then moved to Washington, D.C.

Lerner transferred daily team control to his son, Mark, in 2018.

He also is survived by his wife, Annette Morris Lerner, daughters Debra Lerner Cohen and Marla Lerner Tanenbaum, nine grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren.

"I have great appreciation for Ted's impact on his hometown and the game he loved," MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said in a statement. "On behalf of Major League Baseball, I extend my deepest condolences to Ted's entire family."

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