Alan Jacobs Dies at 83

NEW YORK Alan Jacobs, a former chairman at Bozell & Jacobs and nephew of agency co-founder Morris Jacobs, died June 20 of congestive heart failure at his home in Newport Beach, Calif. He was 83.

During his nearly 40-year career, Jacobs served as national chairman of the American Advertising Federation and on the board of the Advertising Council. In 1981, he won an Addy award for creativity in advertising.

“He was really loved,” said David Bell, a former colleague at Bozell & Jacobs. “He constantly had a smile. He was a humanist in the very sense of the word.”

Jacobs also was able to connect with clients at the highest level, Bell added. “Alan at his root was a giver and clients immediately understood that.”

Jacobs joined the agency in 1946, initially as an account executive in Chicago. In his early years, he specialized in public relations. By the late 1960s, he had advanced to become a key partner to then CEO Chuck Peebler, according to Bell. Toward the end of his career, he worked at the shop’s Los Angeles office.

Heart problems prompted Jacobs to retire in 1985. He remained active in his California community, however, serving as chairman of the United Way of Orange County and as a board member of the Philharmonic Society of Orange County, the Humanities Association at the University of California at Irvine and the Hutchins Consort, a violin group.

Jacobs, a sailing enthusiast who played bridge and traveled internationally, had lived in Newport Beach since 1973. He also was a founding board member of the Pacific Community of Secular Humanistic Jews in Orange County, for which he also edited a newsletter known as The Light. In addition, Jacobs was a national board member of the Society for Humanistic Judaism.

Born Nov. 6, 1922, to Joe and Tillie Greenblat Jacobs in Omaha, Neb., he was raised and educated there. As a student at the University of Nebraska, Jacobs edited the Daily Nebraskan.

In 1943, his ROTC unit was activated and Jacobs became a lieutenant in a field artillery unit that was stationed in India. After World War II, he completed his undergraduate studies, and in 1958, he earned a master’s degree in business administration at the University of Chicago.

On Aug. 28, 1949, Jacobs married the former Phyllis Leaf in Chicago.

In addition to his wife, of Newport Beach, Jacobs is survived by two daughters, Peggy Jacobs and Joanne Jacobs, both of Los Altos, Calif.; a son, David Jacobs of Rancho Ladera, Calif.; and four grandchildren, Allison Hunter, Alan Richardson, Lee Richardson and Virginia Jacobs. Another son, Peter Jacobs, died in 1988.

About 125 attended an hour-long memorial service that took place Sunday at Big Canyon Country Club in Newport Beach. Memorial contributions can be made to the Philharmonic Society of Orange County, 2082 Business Center Dr., Suite 100, Irvine, Calif. 92612, or the Hoag Heart Institute, c/o Hoag Hospital Foundation, 1 Hoag Dr., PO Box 6100, Newport Beach, Calif. 92658.