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Subject: John J. Whitacre, only non-relative to head Nordstrom

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Date Posted: November 21, 2002 7:47:59 EDT

John J. Whitacre, 50, a onetime shoe salesclerk who became the only head of the Nordstrom clothing chain outside the founding family, died of a heart attack Monday in Seattle.

Whitacre, who started the company's $300-million Internet catalog business, became Nordstrom's chief executive in 1997.

The popular yet press-shy Whitacre nearly doubled the size of the chain, but resigned in August 2000 as earnings dropped and a $40-million "Reinvent Yourself" campaign backfired.

Whitacre moved to London in 2001 to manage Harrods department store but returned to Seattle this year to be near his father, who was in declining health. At the time of his death, Whitacre was working as a consultant and doing community service.

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