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Steven M. Jacobson, 87

Mon, 12/23/2019 - 18:17

Steven M. Jacobson, a playwright, attorney, art collector, and dedicated supporter of arts, died of heart failure on Dec. 8 at New York-Presbyterian Hospital. Mr. Jacobson lived in New York City and Miami and spent summers in East Hampton beginning in 1966. He was 87 and had been ill for six weeks.

Mr. Jacobson retired in 1992 from a career as a managing partner with the real estate firm Dreyer and Traub. It was an appointment he earned at the young age of 32. He was also a writer of plays for stage and screen, and was known to leave his desk to attend shows before returning to work.

Mr. Jacobson supported organizations like Guild Hall and the LongHouse Reserve, and was also a collector of contemporary art by a diverse range of artists.

Born in Brooklyn on Jan. 16, 1932, Mr. Jacobson was one of three children of Morris Jacobson and Pauline Ratzes-Dorfer. His father was an entrepreneur who built a soap factory from the ground up. He was raised in Brooklyn and attended Midwood High School. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Amherst College and a law degree from Harvard Law School — attending both schools on scholarship — before enlisting in the Army. He was stationed stateside between 1956 and 1958.

Mr. Jacobson’s first marriage, to Diane Intrilogator, ended with her death in 2007. Mr. Jacobson married Susan Pattaman, whom he met through his involvement with the Hebrew Home in New York, later that year.

Ms. Jacobson, who serves on the board of trustees of Guild Hall, recalled her husband as a renaissance man. “When we got married, we crossed Main Street in East Hampton and he shook everyone’s hand,” she said. “Everybody knew him. He treasured East Hampton.”

Mr. Jacobson, a passionate tennis player, was a founding member of the East Hampton Tennis Club in 1969. In 1988, he served as the club’s president. He also loved literature and classical music, and traveled near and far.

“He always smiled at people,” Ms. Jacobson said. “He was one of those people who attracted other people to him. He brought out the best in them.”

In addition to his wife, Mr. Jacobson leaves a daughter, Karen Jacobson of Fairfax, Calif., a son, Neil Jacobson of Arlington, Vt., and a stepdaughter, Sasha Mann of New York. He also leaves a sister, Linda Jacobson of New York City, and a grandson, Charles Jacobson of Arlington, Vt. A brother, Joel Jacobson, died before him.

Mr. Jacobson was a member of Temple Israel of New York City. Its rabbi, David Gelfand, presided over a service on Dec. 10 at the Frank Campbell Funeral Home in New York City. Mr. Jacobson was buried in the Temple Israel Cemetery in Hastings, N.Y. His family has suggested memorial donations to Guild Hall, 158 Main Street in East Hampton 11937.


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