Ted Leonsis: Wikis

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Ted Leonsis

Ted Leonsis
Born Theodore J. Leonsis
January 8, 1957 (1957-01-08) (age 53)
Brooklyn, New York,United States
Residence McLean, Virginia and Vero Beach, Florida
Education Georgetown University
Occupation Owner, Washington Capitals, Chairman SnagFilms, Clearspring Technologies, Revolution Money
Spouse(s) Lynn
Children 2
Website
Leonsis Foundation

Theodore "Ted" J. Leonsis (born January 8, 1957 in Brooklyn, New York[1]) is a long-time AOL executive and owner of the NHL's Washington Capitals.[2]

Leonsis was born to Greek American[3] parents in Brooklyn, and spent his early years there. His parents worked as a waiter and a secretary.[4] After skipping 8th grade, Leonsis attended Brooklyn Tech[1] but before graduation, his family moved back to their hometown of Lowell, Massachusetts. He graduated from Lowell High School in 1973 and attended Georgetown University.[5] After graduation, Leonsis moved back to his parents' home in Lowell and began working for Wang Laboratories.[1]

After surviving an airplane crash landing in 1983, he drafted a list of 101 things to do in life and has completed many of the tasks including owning a sports franchise.[6]

Contents

AOL

Brought on to help AOL compete with Microsoft,[7] his career with AOL started in 1993 when AOL purchased his marketing company, Redgate Communications Corp. "From '94-'97, Leonsis helped increase AOL's membership from fewer than 800,000 members to 8 million. Revenue also increased from $100 million to $1.5 billion." [8] Leonsis retired in 2006. He held numerous positions at AOL during his years there, completing his tenure as the audience group's president and vice-chairman.[9] He now serves as vice chairman emeritus of AOL.

Sports holdings

Leonsis watches the Capitals practice

Leonsis is also the founder, chairman, and majority owner of Lincoln Holdings LLC, a sports and entertainment company that holds ownership rights in several entities including 100% of the NHL's Washington Capitals and the WNBA's Washington Mystics. Lincoln Holdings also owns approximately 44% of Washington Sports and Entertainment Limited Partnership (WSELP), which owns the NBA’s Washington Wizards, the Verizon Center and the Baltimore-Washington Ticketmaster franchise.[10]

Leonsis has been called one of the most fan-friendly owners in professional sports, occasionally greeting fans in the arena and always responding to their e-mails.

Films

Leonsis has become involved in film investing as a philanthropic interest, which he calls "filmanthropy". "The driver of filmanthropy is that the world is more screwed up every day and people want to call attention to issues," he told the Financial Times.[11] His first production was the documentary Nanking which made its world premiere at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival.[12] The 2009 Best Historical Programming Emmy and 2008 Peabody Award winning[13] film is based on the best selling book The Rape of Nanking by Iris Chang.

In 2008, Leonsis produced Kicking It, a documentary by Susan Koch about the 2006 Homeless World Cup. The film, narrated by actor Colin Farrell, featured residents of Afghanistan, Kenya, Dublin, Charlotte, North Carolina, Madrid and Saint Petersburg. The film premiered in January, 2008 at the Sundance Film Festival and is being distributed by Liberation Entertainment, Netflix and ESPN.

Post AOL

As of 2008, Leonsis is the chairman of SnagFilms, a social media website that lets viewers watch and share documentary films.[14] He is also chairman of Clearspring Technologies[15] and Revolution Money, a subsidiary of Revolution LLC, the investment company created by Steve Case.[16] In December 2008, Leonsis was named to the board of NutriSystem, Inc.[17] In June 2009, Leonsis was appointed as member of Alcatel-Lucent Board's Technology Committee.[18]

Leonsis is currently on the board of directors at Georgetown University, his alma mater[19].

Publications

  • Chposky, James and Ted Leonsis. 1988. Blue Magic: The People, Power and Politics Behind the IBM Personal Computer. New York: Facts on File Publications.[20]
  • Leonsis, Ted. 1984. Software Masters for Pfs. Clayton: Warner Books.[21]
  • Leonsis, Ted. 1984. Software Masters for Pes: Apple Version (48k). Clayton: Warner Books.[22]

Philanthropy

Leonsis is a contributor and an active participant in a number of charities. He has been a member, volunteer and active spokesperson for Best Buddies since 1999. Leonsis keeps in constant communication with Ken, who suffers from intellectual disabilities, according to Best Buddies.[23]. For this work, Leonsis was recognized by Washingtonian Magazine as a "Washingtonians of the Year, 2001"[24]

Leonsis is a mentor through the Hoop Dreams program. Through Hoop Dreams, Leonsis was able to guide Michael Hendrickson into and through his first choice college. Leonsis and Hendrickson continue this relationship today.[25] About Hoop Dreams, Leonsis has stated, “"The Hoop Dreams Scholarship Fund is extraordinary and this Tournament really brings together so many different segments of the city to do something good for the youth of DC. Together, we can help make the educational dreams of hard working students a reality."[26]

In addition, Leonsis is a contributor to the See Forever Foundation[27] and to YouthAIDS[28]. He also sponsors his own philanthropic foundation,the Leonsis Foundation, dedicated to creating “opportunities for children that enable them to reach their highest potential.” The Foundation “partners with and supports organizations with the creativity, skill and dedication to help children overcome obstacles and achieve their goal.” [29]

Recognition

Leonsis was named Businessperson of the Year in 2001 by Washington Business Journal [30] and Washingtonian of the Year by Washingtonian Magazine [31]. In 2009, Leonsis was named one of Washington's Tech Titans by Washingtonian Magazine.[32]

References

External links

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