Harold Valentine Jacobs was a native New Yorker, born on February 14, 1888 and a graduate of Brooklyn Public School 32 and Commercial High School. With an interest in accounting, Jacobs entered New York University’s School of Commerce, Accounts and Finance for the standard three-year, two-hours-a-night, five-nights-a-week program that led to the bachelor of commercial science degree. During the day, he worked as a junior accountant for the Wall Street firm that became KPMG, taking a horse car from the Park Slope section of Brooklyn, down Flatbush Avenue to the Brooklyn Bridge, across the river to Manhattan, and then a short walk to work. On the trip home after class Jacobs was drawn to three of his classmates, Alexander Makay
, Henry Albert Tienken
, and Alfred Moysello
. These four young men established the Fraternity that came to be known as Delta Sigma Pi.
Jacobs held various positions in the United States General Accounting Office during his World War I assignment in Paris. After being wounded while trying to teach his French comrades to play baseball, Jacobs was discharged with the rank of Sergeant in 1919.
Returning home, Jacobs worked as an accountant and, after earning his CPA degree in 1923, he went into private practice for the balance of his professional life. Jacobs' wife Rose, a first grade teacher, is the "Rose" referred to in "The Rose of Delta Sigma Pi
In a letter written to his son (Jim Jacobs, also a Deltasig initiated at Zeta Psi in 1971) in 1966, after attending the installation of Delta Sigma Pi’s Zeta Phi Chapter at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, Florida, Jacobs wrote, "...After 59 years of effort, the ideals of the founders for a fraternity made of members regardless of race, creed or color has come to pass. As one of the originators of this Fraternity, and the ideals expressed and implied in the original constitution and bylaws, I can feel like I have accomplished something in this small world."