Costco co-founder Jeff Brotman dies

8/3/2017

Jeff Brotman, who co-founded retailer Costco and was the board chairman, has died.

Costco Wholesale Corp. said Brotman died early Tuesday. No other details were provided. He was 74.

"The thoughts of Costco's board, management and employees are with Jeff's wife and family," the company said.

Brotman opened Costco's first warehouse with Jim Sinegal in 1983 in Seattle. Ten years later, the company merged with Price Club, a San Diego-based competitor, with the combined company generating $16 billion in annual sales at 206 clubs.

Based in Issaquah, Washington, the company now operates 736 warehouses around the world, including 97 in Canada.

Brotman was regent at the University of Washington, where he studied political science and earned an undergraduate degree in 1964. He later earned a law degree from the university in 1967. While he was a student there, he worked his family's business, a men's clothing chain called Bernie's.

He was married to former Nordstrom executive Susan Brotman.

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