Ted Leonsis is an American-born filmmaker, writer, all-round business mogul and philanthropist. He used to be a politician having served as the mayor of Orchid, Florida in the early 1990s. He is also the founder, majority owner, chairman and CEO of Monumental Sports & Entertainment. The company owns and runs a number of professional sports teams based in Washington D.C. including the Washington Capitals of the NHL, NBA’s Washington Wizards as well as the Washington Mystics of the WNBA.
Ted Leonsis is also the chairman of the film company/website SnagFilms responsible for the production of the 2007 documentary film Nanking which won the award for Outstanding Historical Programming-Long Form at the 2009 News & Documentary Emmy Awards. Leonsis is also co-founder and partner of the Revolution Growth Fund which makes multimillion-dollar investments into start-ups, primarily tech companies.
Ted Leonsis Biography
Theodore “Ted” John Leonsis was born on January 8, 1957, in Brooklyn, New York. The young Leonsis began his high school education at Brooklyn Technical High School In New York City. His family later relocated to Lowell, Massachusetts where he finished off his schooling at Lowell High School, graduating in 1973.
Ted Leonsis had his college education at Georgetown University where he majored in American studies. Upon graduation in 1977, he returned to his parents in Lowell where he landed his first job as a corporate communications manager for Wang Laboratories, a computer company. He later served as a marketing executive for another tech company known as Harris Corporation.
In March 1981, the then 25-year-old Ted Leonsis quit his job and relocated to Florida where he set up his very first business venture LIST (Leonsis Index of Software and Technology) magazine. Alongside his partner Vincent Pica, Leonsis was able to source $1 million as capital. In 1982, the first issue of the magazine was produced and it was a big hit. Less than 2 years later, the company was sold to Thomson Reuters for $60 million. He went on to float several other magazine companies which were equally successful.
Ted Leonsis went on to float the marketing communications organization, Redgate Communications Corporation in 1987. In 1994, the company was bought over by America Online (AOL) and Leonsis was retained as a senior executive. He served in various capacities at AOL for 13 years, eventually becoming the vice chairman and president of the company.
In the spring of 1999, Ted Leonsis acquired the NHL team Washington Capitals under the company Leonsis’ Lincoln Holdings. He also bought minority shares in NBA’s Washington Wizards and also in the Verizon Center (now Capital One Arena). In 2005, Leonsis acquired WNBA’s Washington Mystics. He eventually got full ownership of the Washington Wizards and the Capital One Arena in 2010. Also in 2010, Leonsis’ Lincoln Holdings bought over Washington Sports & Entertainment with the 2 companies merging to form Monumental Sports & Entertainment. In addition to being the founder and majority owner, Ted Leonsis also serves as the company’s chairman and chief executive.
In 2016, Monumental Sports & Entertainment acquired 2 team franchises in the AFL; The Washington Valor and the Baltimore Brigade. Monumental also owns and manages a number of sports arenas (the Capital One Arena and the Kettler Capitals Iceplex both in Washington) as well as the media company Monumental Network.
As a filmmaker, Ted Leonsis produced the highly acclaimed documentary film Nanking (2007). In July 2008, he founded the video company/website SnagFilms. In addition to being a production company, SnagFilms is also the foremost website for streaming non-fiction movies. Ted Leonsis has also authored a number of books including Blue Magic: The People, Power and Politics Behind the IBM PC (1988) and The Business of Happiness: 6 Secrets to Extraordinary Success in Work and Life (2010).
Family: Wife, Daughter
Ted Leonsis was raised in a working-class family and his parents were Greek immigrants.
Ted Leonsis is currently married to Lynn Leonsis. The couple got married way back in August 1987 and their union has remained rock solid ever since. They have 2 children together, a son named Zachary, born in 1988 and a daughter, Elle, born in 1992.
His daughter Elle Leonsis has followed in her father’s footsteps into the world of filmmaking. She studied at Georgetown University after which she obtained a Master of Fine Arts degree in Directing from The London Film. She served as associate producer of the 2010 documentary film A Fighting Chance. She is currently an executive at SnagFilms.
Over the years, Ted Leonsis has distinguished himself as an astute businessman. His business interests cut across several facets of the economy and he has proved very successful in virtually all of them. Judging by his sterling track record in business, one can conclude that Ted Leonsis has a talent for multiplying money. His net worth is currently estimated to be $1 billion. In March 2018, Leonsis was featured on Forbes magazine list of new billionaires having hit the 10-digit milestone in the previous year.
Other Facts about Ted Leonsis
As a teenager, he worked as a lawn mower in order to make some extra bucks.
Ted Leonsis eventually became the very first person in his entire family to obtain a university education. His university education was facilitated by a wealthy businessman Jim Shannon for whom Leonsis had worked for as a lawnmower.
When Ted Leonsis was in high school, a school counsellor analysed his skill set after which he drew the conclusion that the young Leonsis will end up a store manager. On the contrary, in 2005, Leonsis was recognised by his alma mater Lowell High School as one of the school’s Distinguished Alumni and inducted into the Alumni Hall of Fame.
As a politician, Ted Leonsis served as the mayor of Orchid, Florida from 1990 to 1994. He currently serves as the Vice Chairman of the Washington 2024 committee tasked with realizing America’s bid to host the 2024 Summer Olympics.