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Irene Pollin adjusting to life without Abe; downsizing, she unloads three properties in one week

Abe and Irene Pollin. (Family photo, courtesy of Irene Pollin)

Irene Pollin and Ted Leonsis at the NBA basketball draft lottery, Tuesday, May 18, 2010, in Secaucus, N.J. (AP/Bill Kostroun)

In a shaky real estate market, Irene Pollin hit the trifecta: She sold her Middleburg estate, her Rehoboth beach house and Verizon Center, all last week.

"It's so strange that it all worked out that way," Pollin told us. "It's a lot for one week."

The sale of the Washington Wizards and Verizon Center -- which she owned with her husband, Abe, who died at 85 in November -- to Ted Leonsis was finalized June 8. But her decision to sell smaller properties yielded surprisingly fast results: Cloverland Farms, their country house (five bedrooms, five baths, indoor pool, 290 acres in prime horse country), was listed for $9.5 million and quickly found a buyer. And their beachfront property in Rehoboth was snapped up by a neighbor before it even hit the market.

After 64 years of marriage, Pollin is making a few adjustments to life without Abe. "I'm okay, carrying on," she said. "I miss my husband terribly, but was lucky to have what we had." She's keeping their home in Bethesda and a summer place in the Berkshires, and she just bought a house in Amherst near their older son, who teaches at the University of Massachusetts. (A few large pieces of furniture from the Middleburg estate that won't fit in the new place are up for auction this weekend at Sloans & Kenyon.)

The high point of the last seven months? The NBA draft lottery.

"It was hysterical," said Pollin, who was wearing her husband's championship ring when the Wizards vied for the top pick last month. "I thought, 'There's no way. There's no way.'" But the impossible happened -- the Wizards won, her picture was splashed in every sports story and the-woman-behind-the-man became an overnight star. "I'm now a big celebrity. Now when I go into the shoe store, they say, 'Are you the lady?'"

Yes, you'll still see her at games. She's working with Sister to Sister, her charity for heart disease research and prevention, and expects to spend more time with the Kennedy Center. What else? "I don't know yet," she said. "We'll see."

By The Reliable Source  |  June 16, 2010; 1:05 AM ET
Categories:  44: Obama's Washington  
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The Pollins were a dynamic & modest duo.
Heroes to this city & saints to the many they gave opportunities to.

Their only fault was that they believed in so many also who let them down.

God Bless Mr & Mrs. Pollin.

Posted by: Rocc00 | June 16, 2010 12:33 AM | Report abuse

behind every great man is always a great woman

Posted by: Mike4169 | June 16, 2010 10:58 AM | Report abuse

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