Former Washington Wizards owner, philanthropist and psychotherapist Irene Pollin passed away peacefully July 28 with her family by her side at her home in Amherst, Massachusetts. She was 96 years old.
Along with her husband Abe, Irene Pollin owned the Washington Bullets/Wizards for 46 years. Together, the Pollins were the longest-tenured owners in the National Basketball Association at the time they sold the franchise. During the Pollins’ tenure in sports and entertainment, Mrs. Pollin played an integral role in the construction and operation of two state-of-the-art arenas (the Capital Centre in Landover, Maryland and the Capital One Arena in Washington, D.C.). She helped spearhead campaigns to win two expansion sports franchises – the NHL’s Washington Capitals (1974) and the WNBA’s Washington Mystics (1998), and celebrated the only NBA Championship in Washington Bullets/Wizards history in 1978.
Much like her husband, Irene Pollin’s philanthropy knew no bounds. A long list of humanitarian causes and non-profit organizations, including Boys & Girls Clubs of Palm Beach County, benefited from her generosity over the course of her lifetime.
She is predeceased by her husband Abe Pollin, her children Linda Joy and Kenneth Jay. She is survived by her two sons, Robert and James, daughter-in-law Sigrid, as well as two grandchildren (Hannah and Emma), great-granddaughters (Ruth, Leah, Laila), and several nieces and nephews.
Pollin’s son, James, continues the family tradition of philanthropy. Known to friends as Jim Pollin, he is also a longtime supporter of Boys & Girls Clubs of Palm Beach County. He is the driving force of the annual cruise fundraiser for our Clubs.