By Ted Leonsis
Thursday, November 26, 2009
Abe Pollin was the bravest man I ever met. A man of courage and compassion, with high levels of personal empathy and integrity.
He showed passion and commitment to our city when no one else would. He consistently showed his love to the fan base and to his extended family -- his employees. And you could take his handshake to the bank.
He was a man of conviction and principles, of strong views and great accomplishment. He was the only world championship holder among the major team ownership groups around town today.
He was the last "don"; the last of the family-man moguls, the last authentic nice guy in business.
Most of all Abe was a family man -- and a man of spirit -- who knew his higher calling and the value of public service. His selflessness and caring are evident around Washington today.
I will treasure our times together and the wonderful advice he always offered to me. I will never forget the sage advice Abe gave me in regard to leading a team as a public trust, nor his memorable counsel of "Ted, don't get too high with the highs or too low with the lows -- as this too shall pass." He was a mentor, a friend and a pioneer in so many ways.
The writer is owner of the Washington Capitals and Mystics; part owner of Washington Sports and Entertainment, which owns the Washington Wizards and Verizon Center; and vice chairman emeritus of AOL.