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Obituary: Jack Jacobs

Birkbeck Fellow and Governor

Birkbeck was saddened to learn of the death of London property developer and Birkbeck Governor and Fellow Jack Jacobs, who died on 11 December 2014.

As a Governor of Birkbeck, Jack Jacobs was able to advise the College on key property issues, including the major expansion of the College’s Malet Street buildings and the purchase of three Russell Square properties.

One of the most creative and influential figures in the transformation of the built environment of London in recent decades, Jack Jacobs was educated at the City of London School for Boys and the College of Estate Management.

Early in his career he played a leading role in the extensive restoration of the Nash terraces in Regent’s Park, which had suffered extensive bomb damage during the Second World War. He became Chairman of the Paddington Regeneration Partnership (now the Paddington Waterside Partnership) and later developed a special interest in waterside sites, becoming involved in the Silvertown Quays project and Chairman of the Royal Docks Partnership. He served as a Director of London First, the business membership organisation which aims to make London the best place in the world to do business.

Jack Jacobs was a keen sportsman and an active supporter of the ‘Kick Racism Out of Football’ campaign in Israel, touring the country with sporting ambassadors to spread the message of sport’s power to heal hatred. He was also involved in ‘Football for Peace’, a sport-based project of reconciliation. In 2007, he chaired a panel discussion on the theme of ‘Reconciliation Through Football’ organised by Birkbeck’s Sport Business Centre, in front of an audience including representatives of the Football Association, the International Business Leaders Forum, the Department of Culture, Media and Sport and the Foreign Office.

Jack Jacobs was made a Fellow of Birkbeck in 2007. He leaves a wife, Sally, four children and grandchildren.