|Jack A. Benaroya|
July 11, 1921|
|Died||May 11, 2012(aged 90)|
|Occupation||Founder of the Benaroya Company|
Benaroya was born to Lebanese Jewish immigrants in Montgomery, Alabama but spent his childhood in California before moving to Seattle at the age of 12. Benaroya attended Seattle's Garfield High School. 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. 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. In 1956, Benaroya established the Benaroya Company which would become the largest commercial real estate developer in the state of Washington. In 1984, he sold his real estate portfolio for $315 million shifting the focus of the company to venture capital.
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. 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.
Personal life and death
Benaroya was married to his wife Rebecca for over seventy years. They had three children: Donna Benaroya, Alan Benaroya, and Larry Benaroya. In the years before his death, Benaroya was slowed by Parkinson's disease. He died on May 11, 2012.
- Pryne, Eric (May 12, 2012), "Obituary: Jack Benaroya, 90, was a prolific developer and quiet philanthropist", Seattle Times
- Seattle Times: "School spotlight: Garfield High School" By Marc Matsui May 27, 2003
- Chesley, Frank (May 11, 2012). "Benaroya, Jack Albert (1921-2012)". Essay 7419. HistoryLink.
- JT News: "Jack Benaroya, 1921-2012: A leader who built a community" by Joel Magalnick May 23, 2012
- Forbes, 27 October 1986.
- Seattle KingCounty Realtors: 1st Citizen Award Recipients
- Seattle Times Article, May 11, 2012: Philanthropist and developer Jack Benaroya has died