Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Deadwood's Sheldon Jacobs was a broadcaster...and more!

Sheldon Jacobs
Sheldon Jacobs, who played football and ran track at Deadwood (SD) High School in the 1940's before pursuing a career that brought him considerable success in broadcasting, finance, and publishing, has died (3/20/15).

His obituary was published this morning (3/25/15) by the Whitney & Murphy Funeral Home in Phoenix, Arizona, which is handling funeral arrangements.

Long-time Lawrence County resident Hank Frawley said the Jacobs family had lived in Deadwood for several generations.  Jacobs’ grandfather, Sidney, was a successful local businessman in Deadwood.  The Jacobs family would eventually operate numerous retail stores in the northern Black Hills and in Rapid City.

It was Sidney Jacobs who advised my grandfather, Henry Frawley, to send my dad and uncle to school at Notre Dame,” said Frawley, who well remembers the Jacobs family.

After attending the University of South Dakota in Vermillion for one year, Sheldon Jacobs transferred to the University of Nebraska, picking up a degree in Business.  Then it was off for a stint with the Army during the Korean War.  He used his G.I. Bill benefits to learn to fly while also earning a Master’s degree in statistics and retailing from New York University.

In July 1973, after Jacobs and his brother, Doran, chose not to return to Deadwood to run five area clothing stores owned by their parents, the Wall Street Journal featured the parents, Bert and Ruth Jacobs, in a front page story.

Sheldon Jacobs went to work in the research department at the American Broadcasting Company (ABC) in 1961 and was later associated with the National Broadcasting Company (NBC), where he headed a division involved in analyzing viewership and developing sales strategies.

According to his obituary, published by the Whitney & Murphy Funeral Home in Phoenix, Jacobs published his first book in 1974.  The publication, “Put Money in Your Pocket,” launched his career as publisher of a long-running investment newsletter, “The No-Load Fund Investor.”  He also appeared on the NBC “Today” show to discuss his book. Jacobs' investment newsletters were highly popular for decades.

His obituary also noted that Jacobs was included “on a Sunday Morning edition of the Wall Street Journal Report “that featured three men who had been success in their second careers.”  The other two were Ray Kroc of McDonalds Restaurants fame and Colonel Harland Sanders of Kentucky Fried Chicken.

Jacobs and his wife Bette’ lived in both Arizona and New York.  His strong work ethic was reflected in the fact that the day before his death – at age 84 – he gave a speech in Minneapolis to an investment club.

Jacobs will return “home” to be buried at Mount Moriah Cemetery in Deadwood.

To read the entire Sheldon Jacobs obituary, visit the Whitney& Murphy Funeral Home website.

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