Old Ned

Arizona Historymakers™

Arizona Historical Society

Edward "Bud" Jacobson

1908 - 2002

Honored as Historymaker 1993

Art Philanthropist and Attorney

Oral History Transcript:

Video by Pam Stevenson, Agave Productions Inc., for Historical League

Attorney, author, arts advocate and collector, Edward “Bud” Jacobson moved from Chicago to Tucson for law school in 1944, and to Phoenix in 1947. Since arriving in Arizona, he has become involved in legal, civic and cultural endeavors.

In 1942, he graduated from Carleton College Phi Beta Kappa and Magna Cum Laude, with a Bachelor of Arts degree. This was followed in 1943, by graduation from Harvard Business School as a Baker Scholar with Distinction. In 1946, Jacobson earned his J.D. with honors, graduating from the University of Arizona Law School.

After graduation, Mr. Jacobson achieved his initial experience in his chosen profession by serving as Arizona’s first law clerk to the Arizona Supreme Court. He then joined the law firm of  Snell and Wilmer, where he was a partner for over forty years, continuing in an "Of Counsel" capacity after 1990.

An avid art collector, Bud Jacobson is also known as “Mr. Arizona Art.” He served on the Arizona Arts Commission; chaired the committee that founded the Phoenix Art Commission; chaired the Art Committee for Sky Harbor’s Terminal 3; chaired the Civic Center Management Board, and chaired the Central Avenue Improvement Committee. He has served as president of both the Heard Museum and the Phoenix Art Museum.

In 1985, he wrote the book, The Art of Turned Wood Bowls. After the Smithsonian Institution exhibited his bowl collections in museums throughout the United States, he presented the collection to ASU. A video of the collection produced by KAET received an Emmy Award for art documentaries.

Coordinating his artistic interest with his law profession, Bud Jacobson recently completed working with the interior design team for the new Snell and Wilmer offices. The state’s principal collection of the works of Arizona photographers was assembled by Mr. Jacobson for the firm, and was exhibited by the Center for Creative Photography and at the Phoenix Art Museum. The collection is now strategically placed in the firm’s nine floors of offices.

A man of diverse interests, Bud Jacobson has long been active in his support of Phoenix community endeavors. He is past president of Family Services of Phoenix; served as president of Phoenix Community Council from 1960-1962; was a vice president of the Phoenix Symphony, and a board member of the United Fund, now United Way. He also chaired Arizona Highways Advisory Board. In 1975, the Phoenix Advertising Club named him “Man of the Year.”

For his wide-ranging contributions to the arts, culture, and community in Phoenix, Bud Jacobson received the Governor’s Arts Award for Outstanding Individual Contribution to the Arts. Mr. Jacobson has also received two Distinguished Achievement Awards from Arizona State University, one from the Law School and one from the School of Fine Arts.