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Sandro Rosell
FC Barcelona President
Tuesday, October 17, 2017

On Tuesday August 1st, Jeff Brotman, co-founder of Costco Wholesale Corporation died at the age of 74. He died in his home, just outside Seattle. The cause of his death was not immediately known. He leaves behind two children and his wife, Susan Thrailkill Brotman.

He was born in Tacoma, Washington, to Jewish immigrants from Romania. His father and uncles owned a chain of 18 retail stores named Bernie's in Washington and Oregon. He received his BA in political science from the University of Washington followed by his Juris Doctorate. Brotman and his brother jumped right into business and entrepreneurship opening  a women's jeans store named Bottoms, and later a  chain of men’s clothing stores, named Jeffrey Michael. In 1982, along with his partner Jim Sinegal he founded Costco, where he served as chairman until his death. By 2016, the members-only retail giant had 85 million members and $9 billion in annual sales.  The company operates 736 warehouses across the globe. Costco is America’s third largest retail chain, behind only Amazon and Wal-Mart. 

As per Israeli National News, Brotman was an active and generous philanthropist. He donated to the arts, health-related causes, Democratic political candidates, and Jewish causes. In 2014, he donated close to $1 million to Temple Beth El in Tacoma to build a preschool and day care. “The congregation launched me into being a responsible adult,” Brotman said at the time. “I was interested in doing something for them where I thought it would have a major impact.” 

He also actively supported the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle. “Helping the disadvantaged, encouraging diversity, fostering a community that treats its people well — these were values I learned from my parents as well as in Sunday school, values from Rabbi Richard Rosenthal, my rabbi at Temple Beth El, and my grandfather, who helped with the movement to plant trees in Israel,” Brotman said, in a quote on the federation's website. “When I see some of the fundamental unfairness built into the system for people who are less fortunate, and couple that with my family’s tradition of helping others, I am compelled to act, compelled to give what I can to help.”

By:  Hellen Zaboulani