Stephen Blake Jacoby { 1956-1991 }

USNA ’78

Born in Alton, Illinois, Steve came to the Academy as a swimmer, but soon found other activities to keep him busy. He was a member of the 31st Company.

Steve Jacobi '78 in the A-6 Intruder
Steve Jacobi ’78 in the A-6 Intruder

After commissioning, he headed to Pensacola and became a naval aviator flying in the A-6 Intruder.

After leaving the Navy, Steve became a civilian pilot for United Airlines.  Steve met former first lady Rosalynn Carter in the fall of 1989 on a flight between San Francisco and Newark.  Following protocol, he passed a note on a cocktail napkin via the working flight attendant to one of Mrs. Carter’s Secret Service agents and then to Mrs. Carter. It read, “Thank you for your support of Habitat for Humanity. Together we can make it happen.”

Last to deplane, Steve was surprised when Mrs. Carter waited in the jet bridge to meet him. She challenged him to bring Habitat to San Francisco — the last major U.S. city without a Habitat affiliate. The ultimate challenge was that Habitat International’s leadership had said San Francisco was too expensive a city for the model to work here. Complicating matters, Habitat for Humanity International was a Christian organization, and it wasn’t clear in the organization’s bylaws how that Christian mission could be inclusive of people from other religions or of gays and lesbians.

He spent the last months of his life leading public meetings, forming a steering committee and a board, and applying for incorporation from Habitat. He was elected the first Habitat San Francisco board president in September of 1991, and he presided over the first meeting of a board that included many different religions as well as LGBT people. Steve died five days after the first meeting.

His former partner Kent Bloom said there was no ulterior motive when it came to Steve founding Habitat though he was in the death grip of AIDS. “He believed in service,” Kent said. “And he believed in Habitat for Humanity.”

Some content in this biography obtained through fair use doctrine.

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