ELECTED MEMBERS
   
Last NameSportCountryYear Inducted
JAMES "JIMMY" JACOBS

Sport: Handball
Inducted: 1979
Country: United States
Born: 1931 in St. Louis, Missouri
Died: March 23, 1988

Jimmy Jacobs dominated the sport of Four-Wall Handball from 1955 to 1969, winning every match he played during that 15-year span.

Jacobs won the American Handball Association Singles Championships and Doubles title with Marty Decatur six times, and Singles in 1955–1957, 1960, 1964, and 1965. In 1960 and 1965,
he captured both the Singles and Doubles crowns. Jacobs also won the National Three-Wall Championship three times. He did not compete in the National Championships several years because
of injuries and health problems or the lack of meaningful competition.

It was Jacobs who coined the “sword and shield” concept in handball. He relied on the left hand as his shield and the right hand as his sword. In a 1966 issue of Sports Illustrated, one-time Major League baseball starturned- author Jim Bouton wrote, “Jacobs
might be the greatest athlete of his time in any sport.”

There were multiple sides to Jimmy Jacobs. He also reached international prominence as a sports historian and boxing manager.

Historian Jacobs collected the largest library of boxing films in the
world. A quirky 1912 U.S. law prohibited interstate commerce of boxing films, so most prize fights filmed in America during the first 40 years of the twentieth century were sold commercially
in Europe. During the 1950s, as Jacobs toured European military
bases performing handball exhibitions to entertain U.S. troops, he exercised his passion for fight films, collecting every film he could find.

In 1961, Jacobs merged his collection with that of another collector, businessman- TV producer Bill Cayton (Greatest Fights of the Century), and the two organized the film library, Big Fights, Inc. The partners continued to track down rare and lost prints and would eventually possess the largest collection of boxing motion pictures in the world—in excess of 16,000 films. Big Fights, Inc. also
produced more than 1,000 boxing features and documentaries, including Academy Award nominees Legendary Champions, The Heavyweight Champions, and Jack Johnson.

Boxing manager Jacobs teamed with Big Fights, Inc. partner Cayton to manage the careers of three world boxing champions: Welterweight (also Junior and Super) Wilfred Benitez, Lightweight Edwin Rosario, and Heavyweight Mike Tyson.

Jimmy Jacobs was elected to the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1993.
 
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