Wesley “Wes” Foster, who co-founded real estate giant Long & Foster, died Friday at age 89.
No cause of death was given.
Foster launched the real estate firm, whose red signs have become ubiquitous throughout the mid-Atlantic, in 1968 with then-partner Henry Long.
“Wes was an extraordinary leader, businessman and person, and my heart goes out to his family and all those he touched through his caring and generosity,” Long & Foster Companies President and CEO Patrick Bain said in a statement.
“Working with Wes for several years, what stood out the most was his appreciation and attention for everyone he met. Wes always treated you as the most important person and knew it was the agents and employees who chose to work here, who were the heart and soul of the company. His people-first approach defined us, and his legacy lives on at Long & Foster.”
Foster’s first office was a 600-square-foot space in Fairfax. Long oversaw commercial real estate while Foster, who was born in Georgia and moved to DC after serving in the Army, focused on residential properties.
In 1979, Merrill Lynch offered to buy the company. But Foster bought Long’s half and kept it independent.
Long & Foster, now headquartered in Chantilly, grew over the years to encompass 200 real estate offices and more than 8,500 sales agents and employees across the East Coast.
In 2017, Berkshire Hathaway affiliate HomeServices of America acquired The Long & Foster Companies.
Foster is survived by his wife, Betty, two sons, one daughter, and six grandchildren.
A web page for people to share their memories and condolences has been set up.
Featured photo courtesy The Long & Foster Companies
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