Philo Jacoby: Pioneer Editor, Sharpshooter & Strongman of San Francisco

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Philo Jacoby

Philo Jacoby WS 16/2280

Philo Jacoby
WS 16/2280

Values Codes  I-H-E-L

Philo Jacoby was born in 1837 at Lauenberg, province of Pomerania, which is now Lebork, Poland.



San Francisco

Third Mate Philo Jacoby arrived in San Francisco in 1859 on the clipper ship, Whirlwind.



One of the longest-lived Jewish newspa­pers of San Francisco, The Hebrew, was established by Philo Jacoby in December 1863.

The Hebrew was published until 1923 – 70 years!



Riflemanship & Athletics

Philo Jacoby was also known for his athletic prowess and his fame as America’s top rifle marksman in the 1860s and 1870s.

Golden Jubilee Rifle Matches in San Francisco WS 16/2282

Golden Jubilee Rifle Matches in San Francisco
WS 16/2282

He was introduced to riflemanship by Captain John A. Sutter of the famous Sutter’s Mill, birthplace of the California Gold Rush.

His career as a marksman included three trips to Europe in which he beat all the competition of Prussia, Switzerland, Austria and Germany.

One of his Gold Medals was presented by Emperor Franz Joseph.

A diamond badge was awarded to Philo Jacoby in 1890 by the Riflemen of California.

Philo Jacoby’s victory at the Centennial Exposition in Philadel­phia in 1876 resulted in his being named “Champion Rifle Shot in the West.”


Philo Jacoby was also an athlete and strongman of distinction. In fact, he was the first prominent Jewish athlete in the West.


Philo Jacoby never married.

Philo Jacoby died in 1922

Philo Jacoby:  was an ideal ambassador for California. In a refreshing refutation of stereotypes, his brawn was equally matched, if not surpassed by his brains. His Character was unblemished. Philo Jacoby, the sharpshooter, was right on target as a true pioneer of American California and its first sportsman of international repute. –William Kramer & Reva Clar


More information can be found in the following issues of Western States Jewish History:

  • Philo Jacoby: California’s First International Sportsman, Part 1; Clar, Reva & Kramer, William M.; 22/1
  • Philo Jacoby: California’s First International Sportsman, Part 2; Clar, Reva & Kramer, William M.; 22/2
  • Philo Jacoby: California’s First International Sportsman, Part 3; Clar, Reva & Kramer, William M.; 22/3
  • Jacoby, Philo; America’s Top Sharpshooter; San Francisco; 9/1
  • Jacoby, Philo; Athlete and Artist: A Footnote to the Lives of Philo Jacoby and Solomon Sulzer; San Francisco; Clar, Reva; 17/3
  • Jacoby, Philo, Pioneer Jews of San Francisco, Part One, A-L, Norton Stern, 41/1

Photo Gallery [New photos always welcome]

Note: To enlarge any photo, click on the middle of it.



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