Costco co-founder and chairman of the Board Jeff Brotman died early this morning, the company announced.
“The thoughts of Costco’s board, management and employees are with Jeff’s wife and family,” according to a press release from the corporation.
Officials across the state recognized Brotman for his leadership.
“Jeff Brotman epitomized the dynamism and drive of the Northwest,” said King County Executive Dow Constantine in a statement. “His entrepreneurship, creativity and plain hard work changed retail as we know it, and made Costco a worldwide brand. Jeff’s commitment to the community was legendary, from launching scholarship programs at the University of Washington and Seattle University to helping Children’s Hospital and Regional Medical Center. Many national and global leaders — including presidents and those who aspired to be president — made pilgrimages to his home. His progressive values influenced both business and politics on a national scale. My thoughts are with Susan, their family and those whose lives he inspired and made better.”
Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA) said Brotman’s life is is an “unbelievable story of a Tacoma-native who grew up to co-found and run one of the most successful companies in America. We are proud of him and his leadership in the business world.”
Costco is based in Issaquah and currently operates 736 warehouses, including 511 in the United States and Puerto Rico.