Irene Pollin

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Irene Pollin
Irene Sue Kerchek

(1924-06-29)June 29, 1924
St. Louis, Missouri, U.S.
DiedJuly 28, 2020(2020-07-28) (aged 96)
OccupationSports executive; philanthropist
Spouse(s)Abe Pollin

Irene Sue Pollin (née Kerchek; June 29, 1924 – July 28, 2020) was an American sports executive and philanthropist.[1]

Pollin was born in St. Louis, Missouri on June 29, 1924. She married Abe Pollin in 1945 and moved to Washington, D.C. In 1963, Pollin's 16-year-old daughter Linda died from a congenital heart defect, and she suffered from depression for several years. Pollin decided to return to school, earning a bachelor’s degree in anthropology from American University in 1971 and a master’s degree in social work from the Catholic University of America in 1974.[2][3]

Pollin started a counseling practice at Washington Hospital Center and published two books on counseling.[4][5]

In 1999, Pollin started a foundation called Sister to Sister, dedicated to teaching women about heart-disease risk. In 2008, Pollin donated $12 million to Brigham and Women’s Hospital to establish the Linda Joy Pollin Cardiovascular Wellness Program. In 2012, a $10 million donation to Hadassah Medical Center established the Linda Joy Pollin Cardiovascular Wellness Institute. In 2013, she donated $10 million to the Johns Hopkins University Hospital center for the prevention of heart disease, and she also gave $10 million to establish the Linda Joy Pollin Women’s Heart Health Program at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.[2][6]

Pollin became the majority owner of the Washington Wizards and the Washington Mystics after her husband's death in 2009. They had previously also owned the Washington Capitals.[2] Pollin would turn the franchises over to Ted Leonsis who would go on to form Monumental Sports & Entertainment.

In 2016, Pollin published an autobiography, Irene and Abe: An Unexpected Life.[3][7]

Pollin died on July 28, 2020, at her home in Amherst, Massachusetts. She is survived by two sons, Robert Pollin and James Pollin.[1][2]


  1. ^ a b "Irene Pollin, former co-owner of Caps, Wizards, Mystics, dies at 96". WTOP. July 29, 2020.
  2. ^ a b c d Langerclose, Emily (July 31, 2020). "Irene Pollin, longtime co-owner of Washington Wizards, Capitals and Mystics, dies at 96". Washington Post.
  3. ^ a b Shannon, Salley (December 23, 2011). "What I've Learned: Irene Pollin". Washingtonian.
  4. ^ Pollin, Irene; Golant, Susan K. (1994). Taking Charge: Overcoming the Challenges of Long-term Illness. Times Books. ISBN 978-0-8129-2258-5.
  5. ^ Pollin, Irene; Kanaan, Susan Baird (1995). Medical Crisis Counseling: Short-term Therapy for Long-term Illness. W.W. Norton. ISBN 978-0-393-70195-1.
  6. ^ "American College of Cardiology's CardioSmart Initiative Honors Irene Pollin". American College of Cardiology. May 29, 2014.
  7. ^ Pollin, Irene (April 15, 2016). Irene And Abe : an Unexpected Life. ISBN 978-0692621233.
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