Sam Eig

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Samuel Eig
Born1899 (1899)
Died1982 (aged 82–83)
United States
OccupationReal estate developer
Known forDevelopment of Silver Spring, Maryland
Net worth$100,000,000 (1940)

Sam Eig (c. 1899 – 1982) was an American real estate developer active in the Washington D.C. metropolitan area.[1][2]


Eig was born in Smilovichi, Russia (now Belarus) to a Jewish family.[2] In 1914, he immigrated to the United States[1] arriving first in Seattle then New York City and then in Washington D.C..[1] He worked various jobs as a bellboy, busboy, construction worker, and butcher’s assistant.[1] After a failed investment in a grocery store, he opened a liquor store in 1930s which was successful enabling him to buy a distillery. Using the earnings from this business, he started to invest in real estate in then undeveloped Silver Spring, Maryland. In 1944, he purchased the Silver Spring Shopping Center; and in 1946, he built the Eig Building.[1] Eig was a proponent of further development in Silver Spring and was an active member of the Silver Spring Board of Trade.[1] In the late 1930s, he personally developed 30 housing lots in Rock Creek Forest, after being denied financing from local banks.[1] Aware that people preferred to move to places that were more established, Eig donated land for the construction of community centers and churches[1] including a Red Cross building and Holy Cross Hospital in Silver Spring.[3] Eig was successful and by the late 1940s, his real estate holdings were valued at over $100 million.[1] He later expanded into hotels building the Washingtonian Center in Gaithersburg, Maryland in 1957 and the Georgian Motel in Silver Spring in 1961.[1] Until the passage of the 1968 Fair Housing Act, Eig used racially restrictive covenants to exclude African Americans and other racial minorities.[4]

Sam Eig Highway, a continuation of Interstate 370, was named in his honor.[2] Eig died in 1982 at the age of 83.


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Montgomery County Historical Society: "Immigration and Success - Samuel Eig" Archived 2014-10-22 at the Wayback Machine retrieved October 18, 2014
  2. ^ a b c Jewish Washington: "Real Estate Boom" retrieved September 18. 2014
  3. ^ Gaithersburgh: "Then and Now" retrieved October 18, 2014
  4. ^ "Silver Spring's Jewish history 'long and complicated'". Washington Jewish Week. Retrieved 2018-08-25.