Deaths of Irwin, Alex Jacobs confirmed as murder-suicide

The pair had been married for 57 years and were 'devoted' to each other, an obituary says.
Publish date:
Alexandra and Irwin Jacobs

The deaths of Irwin and Alexandra Jacobs at their mansion in Orono has been confirmed as a murder-suicide.

The Hennepin County Medical Examiner's Office confirmed that 77-year-old Irwin Jacobs shot and killed his wife Alexandra, also 77, before turning the gun on himself.

Both died from gunshot wounds at their estate at 1700 Shoreline Drive in Orono on Wednesday. The motive behind the murder-suicide is still under investigation by Orono Police Department.

In an obituary released by their family on Friday, the pair is described as "devoted parents and grandparents who prioritized and valued their family above all else."

The pair had been married for 57 years and "their love for one another was inspiring." They are survived by five children and eight grandchildren.

Irwin Jacobs was a prominent Twin Cities-based businessman "with an appetite and skill for making a deal."

Known by some as "Irv the Liquidator," he had an "amazing ability to see the value in companies in ways that others could not."

In 1975 he bought the Grain Belt Brewery alongside another prominent Twin Cities entrepreneur, "close friend" Carl Pohlad, and went on to lead many more corporate acquisitions over the years.

He was part-owner of the Minnesota Vikings, and helped build the COMB Company, which later became part of the Cable Value Network that would eventually spawn QVC.

He also went on to own and operate Genmar, the world's largest boat builder, and also served as the chairman of the 1991 Summer Special Olympics in the Twin Cities, one of the many philanthropic endeavors he pursued.

Alex an 'extraordinary friend' with a passion for painting

Alex Jacobs was raised on Lake Harriet in Minneapolis and "dedicated her life to raising her five children including a daughter with special needs."

"Alex was an extraordinary friend who loved to laugh above all things. Her passion was painting. She painted extensively in oil and watercolor, inspired by her world travels as well as everyday life," the obituary said.

"She was a very accomplished painter but approached it out of her love, not to impress or receive recognition. She was a gracious host, and along with Irwin, loved to entertain. Alex will be remembered for her warmth, beauty, smile and joie de vivre, as well as her sense of humor."

Media reports noted that Alex had recently started using a wheelchair for health issues.

A celebration of their lives will be held on Monday afternoon at the Lafayette Club at Minnetonka Beach.

Next Up