Abe Pollin (Abraham Pollin)

Abe Pollin

Abe Pollin was born to a Jewish family in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on December 3, 1923 to Jennie and Morris Pollin. When he was 8, Pollin’s family moved to the Washington area from Philadelphia. Pollin graduated from The George Washington University in 1945 and took a job with his family’s construction company for 12 years. The Pollins launched their own construction company in 1957. A successful construction contractor in the Washington area, Pollin headed an investment group that bought the then Baltimore Bullets in 1964. He moved the team to the Washington area in 1973 after building the Capital Centre. In 1996, Pollin announced that he was changing the team’s name because he felt the name “Bullets” had too many negative connotations. “Our slogan used to be ‘Faster than a speeding bullet,’ but that is no longer appropriate,” Pollin told the press. A “name-the-team” contest yielded the name “Wizards.”

Abe Pollin supported the Washington DC community philanthropically, including a 1988 partnership with businessman Melvin Cohen to award college scholarships to 59 fifth-graders in Seat Pleasant, MD.[6] Beginning in 2002, an award called “The Pollin Award” has been awarded annually in his honor. People are chosen for the Pollin Award based on their dedication to the Washington DC community and the impact they have on it. Winners of the award have included Georgia M. Dickens, 2002 Executive Director, The S.T.E.P.U.P. Foundation Of Greater Washington, D.C. Inc., Harvey C. Barnum, Jr., 2005 Teacher of the Year, Jason Kamras and 2006 Miss District of Columbia, Kate Michael. Abe Pollin died on November 24, 2009, nine days before his 86th birthday, of corticobasal degeneration, a rare brain disease. He had made donations totaling $3 million toward finding a cure for the disease.

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  • December, 03, 1923
  • USA
  • Philadelphia, Pennsylvania


  • November, 24, 2009
  • USA
  • Washington D.C.

Cause of Death

  • corticobasal degeneration


  • King David Memorial Gardens
  • Falls Chuch, Virginia
  • USA

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