Richard Jacobs (businessman)

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Richard E. Jacobs
Born June 16, 1925
Akron, Ohio
Died June 5, 2009(2009-06-05) (aged 83)
Nationality United States
Education B.A. Indiana University
Occupation real estate developer
Known for co-founder of the Richard E. Jacobs Group

Richard E. "Dick" Jacobs (June 16, 1925 – June 5, 2009) was an American businessman and real estate developer who co-founded the Richard E. Jacobs Group.[1]


Jacobs was born in 1925 in Akron, Ohio[2] In 1943, he served in the Army during World War II.[2] In 1949, he graduated from Indiana University with a degree in business administration and accepted a job with a development company in Akron.[2] In 1955, he and his brother, David H. Jacobs, started a general contracting company that concentrated on the building of small strip malls. The company grew rapidly and by 1992, the Jacobs Group ranked fourth in the nation in the development and management of enclosed malls owning 40 malls in 16 states outright; they also owned 31 Wendy’s fast-food restaurants and several Marriott hotels.[2] The Jacobs Group company builds and leases shopping centers, offices, and hotels. Among its properties are Key Tower and Westgate Mall in Cleveland, Ohio, and Triangle Town Center in Raleigh, North Carolina. His company also built Westland Mall, Northland Mall, and Eastland Mall in Columbus, Ohio.

Along with his brother,[3] Jacobs was also well known for owning the Cleveland Indians of Major League Baseball (MLB) from 1986 to 1999. Progressive Field, formerly Jacobs Field, in Cleveland bore his family name from its opening in 1994 until early 2008. Jacob's tenure as Indians owner marked one of the team's most successful periods, having reached the World Series on two occasions (1995, and 1997), and winning divisional championships in five consecutive seasons (1995-1999).

Jacobs also owned the Pier House Resort[4] on Duval Street in Key West, Florida.[5]

Jacobs died on June 5, 2009 after a long illness.[6] The funeral was held at the Rocky River United Methodist Church.[7]

Awards and honors[edit]

As Indians owner[edit]

As a businessman[edit]

  • 2009 Downtown Cleveland Alliance Ruth Ratner Miller Award (for his contributions in developing the downtown area - awarded posthumously)[8]


External links[edit]