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
Ethnicity Jewish
Occupation Founder of the Benaroya Company
Religion Judaism
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] but spent his childhood in California before moving to Seattle at the age of 12.[1] Benaroya attended Seattle's Garfield High School.[2] 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.[3] He died on May 11, 2012.[1][4]

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