Ted Leonsis is an American-born filmmaker, writer, all-around business mogul, and philanthropist. He was a politician after being 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 operates a number of professional sports teams based in Washington, D.C., including the Washington Capitals of the NHL, the Washington Wizards of the NBA, and the Washington Mystics of the WNBA.
Ted Leonsis is also the chairman of the film company/website SnagFilms, which is responsible for the production of the documentary film Nanking 2007, which won the prize 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 in start-ups, primarily in technology 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 the Brooklyn Technical High School in Brooklyn, New York City. His family later moved to Lowell, Massachusetts, where he completed his education at Lowell High School and graduated in 1973.
Ted Leonsis received his college education at Georgetown University, where he majored in American Studies. After graduating in 1977, he returned to his parents in Lowell, where he took up his first position as head of corporate communications at Wang Laboratories, a computer company. He later worked as a marketing executive for another technology company called Harris Corporation.
In March 1981, Ted Leonsis, then 25, quit his job and moved to Florida, where he founded his very first business venture magazine, LIST (Leonsis Index of Software and Technology). Together with his partner Vincent Pica, Leonsis raised $1 million in the capital. In 1982 the first issue of the magazine was produced and was a great success. Less than 2 years later the company was sold to Thomson Reuters for 60 million dollars. He then went public with several other magazine companies that were equally successful.
Ted Leonsis took the marketing communications organization Redgate Communications Corporation public in 1987. In 1994, the company was bought by America Online (AOL), and Leonsis was retained as a senior executive. He served in various capacities at AOL for 13 years until he became vice president and president of the company.
In early 1999, Ted Leonsis acquired the NHL team Washington Capitals under the name Leonsis’ Lincoln Holdings. He also purchased minority interests in the Washington Wizards of the NBA and also in Verizon Center (now Capital One Arena). In 2005 Leonsis acquired the Washington Mystics of the WNBA. In 2010, he finally obtained full ownership of the Washington Wizards and the Capital One Arena. Also in 2010, Leonsis’ Lincoln Holdings acquired Washington Sports & Entertainment, merging the two companies into Monumental Sports & Entertainment. Ted Leonsis is not only the founder and majority owner but also the Chairman and Chief Executive of the company.
In 2016, Monumental Sports & Entertainment acquired 2 team franchises in 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) and 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. SnagFilms is not only a production company but also the leading website for streaming non-fiction films. Ted Leonsis has also written 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 grew up in a working-class family and his parents were Greek immigrants.
Ted Leonsis is currently married to Lynn Leonsis. The couple married back in August 1987 and their relationship has remained rock solid ever since. They have two 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 and subsequently received a Master of Fine Arts degree in directing from The London Film. She was an Associate Producer of the documentary A Fighting Chance in 2010. She is currently a senior executive at SnagFilms.
Over the years, Ted Leonsis has distinguished himself as an astute businessman. His business interests span several facets of the economy, and he has proven very successful in virtually all of them. Given his outstanding track record in business, one can conclude that Ted Leonsis has a talent for making money. His net worth is currently estimated at $1 billion. In March 2018, Leonsis was added to Forbes magazine’s list of new billionaires after reaching the 10-digit milestone last year.
Other Facts about Ted Leonsis
As a teenager, he worked as a lawnmower to earn some extra money.
Ted Leonsis was, after all, the very first person in his entire family to receive a university education. His university education was made possible by the wealthy businessman Jim Shannon, for whom Leonsis had worked as a lawnmower.
When Ted Leonsis was in high school, a school counselor analyzed his abilities and concluded that young Leonsis would end up becoming a business manager. On the contrary, in 2005 Leonsis was recognized by his Alma Mater Lowell High School as one of the school’s Distinguished Alumni and was inducted into the Alumni Hall of Fame.
As a politician, Ted Leonsis served as Mayor of Orchid, Florida from 1990 to 1994. He is currently the Vice-Chairman of the Committee Washington 2024, which is responsible for the realization of America’s bid to host the 2024 Summer Olympics.