ORONO, Minn. — Local law enforcement entered the 13,000-square foot Lake Minnetonka mansion of FLW Chairman Irwin Jacobs Wednesday morning. Inside, they found the bodies of Jacobs, 77, and his wife Alexandra alongside a nearby handgun. According to the Minneapolis Star Tribune, the couple appears to have died in a murder suicide.
“Irwin Jacobs catapulted professional fishing in the late 1990s early 2000s with his visions for what the sport would one day become,” reports Wired2Fish. “He made $100,000 paydays the norm. He made wrapped boats, trucks and jersey’s common place in the sport. He brought in massive non-endemic exposure through companies like Walmart, BP, General Motors and Procter and Gamble, and organizations like the National Guard. He awarded not only the first $1 million payday in bass fishing for professional anglers, but also for fantasy fishing players. He invested millions of his own money into the sport of fishing because he believed in what it could become.”
At one time, Jacobs was the figurehead of Genmar Holdings, which for much of the last thirty years was considered the largest boat builder in the United States. Jacobs oversaw brands like Hatteras, Ranger Boats, Stratos, and Glastron before selling to Platinum Equity via bankruptcy in 2010.
According to the Star Tribune, Alexandra Jacobs had been confined to a wheel chair for around a year, and was suffering from signs of dementia. Former business associate Dennis Mathison said that Jacobs had become distraught over his wife’s condition.
In addition to his holdings in the fishing industry, Jacobs was a minority owner of the NFL’s Minnesota Vikings, a co-creator of the cable channel that would eventually become QVC, and a former Special Olympics chairman.