Writer of Beloved TV Shows Battles Alzheimer’s and Succumbs to Complications from Infections

Writer of Beloved TV Shows Battles Alzheimer’s and Succumbs to Complications from Infections


On August 23, 2023, David Jacobs, the visionary creator behind iconic television dramas like “Knots Landing,” “Dallas,” and “Paradise,” passed away at the age of 84.

His battle with Alzheimer’s disease, which spanned several years, came to an end in Burbank, California, at Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center, as confirmed by his son.

While Alzheimer’s had taken its toll on the esteemed showrunner and writer, it was a series of infections that ultimately led to his passing.

According to his son Aaron, “He had Alzheimer’s for many years, and recently he had recurring infections that led to his death.”

Just eight days before his passing, David had celebrated his 84th birthday.


A Pioneer in Television Drama

David Jacobs left an indelible mark on American television, forever changing its landscape.

His shows became a fixture in households across the United States during the 1980s.

“Dallas,” which held the record for the longest-running TV show at the time with 357 episodes spread across 14 seasons, was a cultural phenomenon.

Chronicling the tumultuous lives of an affluent oil-owning family embroiled in constant feuds, the show celebrated its 45th anniversary earlier this year.

David’s unique approach to writing the initial episodes of “Dallas” without firsthand experience of the city proved insightful, as he later confessed, “There is something about Dallas and about the people in Dallas that I can only describe as extravagant, but not ostentatious.”


Legacy Beyond “Dallas”

As the mastermind behind the spin-off “Knots Landing,” David Jacobs extended his influence even further.

This show, which ran for nearly as long as its predecessor at 344 episodes, showcased his ability to craft compelling narratives and memorable characters.

His creative prowess wasn’t limited to soap operas; David served as an executive producer on notable series such as “Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman” and “Homefront,” earning him two Emmy nominations.

A Life Shaped by Ambition and Determination

Born in 1939 in Baltimore, David’s upbringing was colored by the experiences of his parents.

His father Melvin, who held various jobs including billiards champion and songwriter, instilled in David a desire to pursue his passions.


Melvin’s dissatisfaction with his own work left an impression on his son, who vowed never to be trapped in a job he despised.

After studying at Hunter College in New York, David embarked on a career in writing and editing, eventually leading him to the world of television.

His journey began with rewrites for CBS shows like “Delvecchio” and “The Blue Knight,” where he showcased his talent for storytelling.

A Lasting Legacy

David Jacobs leaves behind a legacy survived by his children Aaron and Molly, his wife Diana, his daughter Albyn Hall from a previous marriage, and his cherished grandchildren Riley and Georgia.

The impact of his creative vision and storytelling prowess will continue to resonate with audiences for generations to come.


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