Jim Jacobs (1930-1988) was a fight film collector who, with his partner Bill Cayton, built the "Big Fights" Boxing Library during his travels around the world as one of the world's premier handball players. As a child, Jacobs said he found many old fight films thrown away in trash baskets along with collectible comics like Superman and Captain America.
Jacobs died on March 23rd, 1988 from pneumonia. Bill Cayton, who was Mr. Jacobs's partner in managing, said Jacobs had suffered from lymphocytic leukemia for nine years.
- Trained secretly for one year by Cus D'Amato in hopes of fighting world lightheavyweight champion Archie Moore.
- Acted as press contact for Floyd Patterson in his first fight against Sonny Liston. (There's a portrait of Jacobs in this role in US author Norman Mailer's essay about the Patterson-Liston fight (1st meeting) in "10,000 words a minute" in "The Presidental Papers" (1964)).
- Jacobs also managed boxers like Wilfred Benitez, Edwin Rosario, Cyclone Hart, and most famously Mike Tyson. He was Tyson's manager along with Cayton, from Tyson's pro debut in 1985 until Jacobs died from leukemia in 1988.
- Inducted into the World Boxing Hall of Fame, "Expanded Category" (Managers & Trainers).
- In the dirty world of boxing, Jacobs was a clean man. He was proof that boxing and character need not be mutually exclusive... And boxing is that much less a sport without his presence. - Howard Cosell
- Jimmy Jacobs has always been a good friend of mine. I will truly miss him. I not only respect him, I had admiration, compassion, and love for this man. - Muhammad Ali
- The beleaguered sport suffered another damaging blow the other day when it lost its most eloquent spokesman, Jimmy Jacobs. He was respected and trusted by bitterly divisive factions and his sound reputation was never tainted by rumors of dishonesty-rumors that inevitably curse everyone in the sport who reaches Jacobs' lofty status. - Doug Krikorian of the Los Angeles Herald-Examiner
- I never heard a bad word about him. If there's anyone in boxing who didn't like Jimmy Jacobs, then he didn't like him because Jimmy wouldn't sell out. - Don Fraser (promoter)