Jack Benaroya

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Jack A. Benaroya
Born (1921-07-11)July 11, 1921
Montgomery, Alabama
Died May 11, 2012(2012-05-11) (aged 90)
Nationality United States
Occupation Founder of the Benaroya Company
Spouse(s) Rebecca Benaroya
Children Donna Benaroya
Alan Benaroya
Larry Benaroya

Jack A. Benaroya (July 11, 1921 – May 11, 2012) was a noted philanthropist and prominent civic leader in Seattle, Washington.


Benaroya was born to Lebanese Jewish immigrants in Montgomery, Alabama[1][2] but spent his childhood in California before moving to Seattle at the age of 12.[1] Benaroya attended Seattle's Garfield High School.[3] After graduating, he took a job at his family's beer distributorship and then went on to serve with the United States Navy in the Philippines during World War II.[1] Upon his return, he became involved in real estate by building post offices in the region which was experiencing a post-war boom; however, his fortune was earned by building industrial parks, a concept not yet seen in the northwestern United States.[1] In 1956, Benaroya established the Benaroya Company which would become the largest commercial real estate developer in the state of Washington.[1] In 1984, he sold his real estate portfolio for $315 million shifting the focus of the company to venture capital.[1]

Benaroya was an early investor in Starbucks.[1]


Benaroya was a former director of the Seattle Chamber of Commerce; the United Way of King County; Temple de Hirsch Sinai; Congregation Ezra Bessaroth; the Stroum Jewish Community Center; and the Pilchuck Glass School.[1] He was a supporter of the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation International; the University of Washington Medical Center; Children's Hospital and Medical Center; Lakeside School; and the Jewish Federation and Council of Seattle. He funded the Benaroya Hall, facility for the Seattle Symphony which opened in 1998; and the Benaroya Research Institute at Virginia Mason Medical Center in Seattle which opened in 1999.[1]

Personal life and death[edit]

Benaroya was married to his wife Rebecca for over seventy years. They had three children: Donna Benaroya, Alan Benaroya, and Larry Benaroya.[1] In the years before his death, Benaroya was slowed by Parkinson's disease.[4] He died on May 11, 2012.[1][5]

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