Nordstrom catalog founder dies

John Whitacre, the only non-Nordstrom family member to hold a top executive position at the apparel retailer and the executive who started Nordstrom’s catalog and Internet business, died of a heart attack on Nov. 18. He was 50. Whitacre, who was named Nordstrom’s CEO in 1997, left the company in August 2000. He resurfaced in London the following year to manage Harrod’s department store. He subsequently returned to Seattle to be near his father, who was ill, and was doing consulting and community service before his death.

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