June 5, 1926 – December 5, 2020
James J. Jacobi Sr., 94, ran a chain of men’s clothing stores | Featured obituaries
James J. Jacobi Sr., who ran a local chain of men’s clothing stores for 25 years, died suddenly on December 5 at his daughter’s home in Centennial, Colorado. He was 94 years old.
Born in Buffalo, he contracted polio at the age of 2 and had to undergo several surgeries until his early twenties. Nonetheless, he was a varsity wrestler in Amherst High School and a rookie in his final year on the 1944-45 championship basketball team.
He attended the University of Notre Dame for three years, then moved to join the family business, Jacobi Bros. Men’s Clothiers, which was founded by his father and uncles in 1919. His flagship store was on Main Street in downtown Buffalo next to the Century Theater.
Known to everyone as Jim, Mr. Jacobi was a buyer and seller until 1962, when his father retired. He then became president and his brother Don became part owner.
He guided Jacobi Bros. through multiple transitions. In 1966, it was one of the first retail traders to accept the interbank card, the predecessor of MasterCard, after its introduction as a national credit card by the Navy Midland Bank and other banks.
As business declined downtown, he closed the flagship store in 1973 and focused on the company’s half-dozen suburban branches. Changes in the clothing industry, which have accelerated the traditional buying and selling cycles, required him to visit suppliers in New York every week until his retirement in 1987. Two of his sons have then managed the company until it closed in 1991.