Department store executive Blake Nordstrom dies at 58

By ANNE D'INNOCENZIOFeaturesAssociated Press

Blake Nordstrom, who led the upscale department store chain Nordstrom as co-president with his brothers Erik and Peter, has died. He was 58.

The Seattle-based company did not disclose the cause of death, saying Nordstrom passed away unexpectedly early Wednesday. Last month, Nordstrom said that he had been diagnosed with lymphoma, but that his cancer was treatable.

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Nordstrom Inc. said in a statement that its executive leadership will continue under Erik and Peter Nordstrom. The company is publicly traded, but family members still own about 30 percent of its shares. The family group had hoped to take the company private last year, but a special committee for its board rejected the offer as too low.

Blake Nordstrom had worked at the chain for more than 40 years. He was the great-grandson of company founder John W. Nordstrom, a Swedish immigrant who opened a Seattle shoe store in 1901 that eventually became a national department store chain.

"Everyone who worked with Blake knew of his passion and deep commitment to employees, customers and the communities we serve," said Nordstrom Inc. Chairman Brad Smith said.