Jacobs family 'heartbroken' following death of parents Irwin and Alexandra

The two were found dead in their Orono home Wednesday.
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Family members are "heartbroken" following the death of prominent Twin Cities businessman Irwin Jacobs and his wife, Alexandra Jacobs.

Irwin and Alexandra Jacobs were found dead in their Orono home Wednesday by someone making a routine visit, Orono police said. Both bodies were found in a bed, with a handgun nearby.

Police Chief Correy Farniok would not confirm a cause of death. He also would not say whether it was a murder-suicide. But he did say there is no threat to public safety.

"We don’t see this very often," he said.

Irwin Jacobs , 77, made his name and his money as an investor and entrepreneur. He often bought struggling companies and sold or liquidated to make a profit, including Grain Belt and W.T. Grant.

It earned him the name "Irv the Liquidator," according to reports.

At one point he owned and operated Genmar Industries, the world's largest privately held recreational boat builder, according to his Bass Fishing Hall of Fame entry. Sales of the company exceeded $1 billion, but it filed for bankruptcy in 2009.

Jacobs founded Fishing League Worldwide after buying what had been a small bass tournament based in Kentucky. He was a former part-owner of the Minnesota Vikings, selling his shares to Mike Lynn in 1991. And he created the Cable Value Network, a television shopping channel later bought by QVC Boating Industry says.

Alexandra Jacobs, 77, generally avoided the limelight, the Star Tribune reports, but was known as an artist and a "giving person." She was also involved with the PACER Center, and one of the couple's five children has cerebral palsy.

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The Star Tribune says Alexandra Jacobs recently began using a wheelchair due to health issues.

"Our family is shocked and devastated by the death of our parents, Irwin and Alexandra Jacobs," the family said in a statement sent to Bring Me The News. "We are heartbroken by this loss, and we ask that our privacy be respected as we grieve during this very difficult time."

They lived in a sprawling estate on Tanager Lake in Orono, which comprised several buildings totaling more than 12,000-square-foot of floorspace, including the main mansion.

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