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Founding officer of Costco dies at 72


Issaquah, Wash. --Robert Craves, 72, a founding officer of Costco, died last week shortly after being diagnosed with cancer,The Seattle Timesreported.

Craves helped launch the warehouse club giant after working with Jim Sinegal, another Costco founder and former CEO, at a home-improvement business in California. Sinegal hired Craves as a merchandise manger at that company in the late 1970s and Craves later moved to Seattle. In 1983, Costco opened its first warehouse and became the first company ever to grow from zero to $3 billion in less than six years.

In 1993, Costco merged with Price Club and the combined company operated under the name PriceCostco. The company resumed the Costco name in 1997.

Craves wore many hats at Costco, serving as senior VP of membership, marketing and community outreach until he retired in 2000.

After his retirement, Craves co-founded the College Success Foundation in 2000 to provide college scholarships and mentoring to low-income, high-potential students. Over the years, the foundation has helped thousands of low-income and minority students graduate from college.

"Bob has left a very tall and proud legacy for all of us to continue,” said former Washington State Gov. Gary Locke. “His efforts have inspired and uplifted a generation of young people to help secure a brighter future—not just for them, but for all of us. This is a very sad day for higher education in our state.”

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