Costco co-founder Jeff Brotman dies at 74

Jeffrey H. Brotman; file photo via Costco 

SEATTLE, Wash. — Costco co-founder and retail legend Jeff Brotman died early Tuesday morning. He was 74.

The Issaquah-based wholesale corporation released a statement on Tuesday announcing his death with “great sadness.”

“The thoughts of Costco’s board, management and employees are with Jeff’s wife and family,” the statement read.

Brotman earned his bachelors' and law degrees from the University of Washington in the 1960s.

He was a founder and Chairman of the coard of the company from its inception until October 1993. In October 1993, Brotman became the Vice Chairman of the company, and he has served as Chairman since December 1994.

Costco Wholesale Corp. operates 736 warehouses, including 511 in the United States and Puerto Rico. It has a market capitalization of about $70.1 billion.

Brotman is considered a leader in Washington state's Democratic party. When Hillary Clinton was campaigning last year and came to Seattle, Brotman held a fundraiser at his Medina home.