Jeffrey Brotman

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Jeffrey Brotman
Born 1942 (age 74–75)
Tacoma, Washington, United States
Nationality American
Education B.A., J.D. University of Washington
Occupation Attorney, entrepreneur, corporate executive
Known for Co-founder and Chairman of Costco
Spouse(s) Susan Thrailkill

Jeffrey Brotman (born 1943) is an American attorney and businessman. He is the co-founder and chairman of Costco Wholesale Corporation.

Early life and education[edit]

Brotman was born to a Jewish family in Tacoma, Washington, the son of Bernie and Pearl Brotman.[1] His father was an owner of Seattle Knitting Mills and along with his uncles owned a chain of 18 retail stores in Washington and Oregon named Bernie's.[1] In 1965, the family moved to Seattle.[1] Brotman graduated from the University of Washington in 1964 with a degree in political science and in 1967 with a J.D.[1] He was a member of the Zeta Beta Tau fraternity at the University of Washington.[2] After school, he and his brother, Michael, founded a women's jeans store named Bottoms; and in the 1980s, they founded the Jeffrey Michael chain of men’s clothing stores which they operated into the 1990s.[1]


In 1982 Brotman joined with Jim Sinegal to draw up plans for a new wholesale business and became the co-founder of Costco Wholesale Corporation.[3] Brotman has been the Chairman of the Board for the company since December 1994, Vice Chairman of Costco Wholesale Corporation since October 1993 and director of the company since its inception in 1983.[4] Brotman is reported to have "extensive knowledge" of Costco and its development.[3]

Brotman has served on the boards of several public companies and[5] according to Businessweek magazine is "connected to 13 board members" [6][7] and sits on the Board of Directors of the Million-Dollar Roundtable at the United Way of King County.[8] In addition, he is a past Member of the Board of Seafirst Bank, a Member of the Board of Starbucks and a Trustee at the Seattle Art Museum.[9]

Personal life[edit]

Brotman lives with his wife, Montana native Susan Thrailkill,[1] in Medina, Washington;[10] they have a daughter, Amanda (b. 1979) and a son, Justin (b. 1982).[1]


In 2016, he endorsed Hillary Clinton for president.[11]


  1. ^
  2. ^ a b Costco About accessed March 1, 2012
  3. ^ McGregor, Jena (7 September 2011). "On Leadership: Costco chief executive Jim Sinegal". Washington Post. Retrieved 2012-03-04. 
  4. ^ Brotman Bio Forbes accessed March 1, 2012
  5. ^ Business week on Brotman Businessweek, accessed March 1, 2012
  6. ^ Jeffrey Brotman Executive Profile Businessweek, retrieved March 4, 2012
  7. ^ Jeffrey H. Brotman Market Watch, retrieved March 4, 2012
  8. ^ "Jeffrey H. Brotman". NNDB. Retrieved 2012-03-04. 
  9. ^ Brower, Kate and Ray, Susanna (February 27, 2012) Obama Says Export Aid Will Help US Companies Compete Bloomberg, accessed March 4, 2012
  10. ^ Nelson, Louis. "Hillary Clinton racks up business endorsements".