Stevenson Jacobs, a former Associated Press journalist who covered political turmoil in Haiti and breaking news throughout the Caribbean before joining the news cooperative\’s business desk, has died. He was 37.
Jacobs, who was a partner and head of business development at the investment fund ShearLink Capital, died from an apparent heart attack Monday at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York, according to his wife, Atzin Gaytan. He had started to feel ill the night before at their weekend home in New Milford, Connecticut, but had no known underlying health condition, she said.
The couple lived in New York. Jacobs moved to the city in October 2007 from Port-au-Prince, Haiti, where he had been the resident AP correspondent during an uneasy period following the ouster of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide and through the election of President Rene Preval. It was a time when kidnappings surged in the country and U.N. peacekeepers frequently clashed with armed gangs in the capital.
Previously, he had been an AP correspondent in Jamaica and a reporter and editor in San Juan, Puerto Rico, traveling throughout the region on assignment to cover elections and major hurricanes and other breaking news.
"He was kind-hearted, hard-working and people trusted him enough to tell him their most intimate stories," said Paisley Dodds, a former Caribbean news editor for AP.
Jacobs, who had a B.A. from the University of Texas, Austin, transferred to the business news desk in New York and left the AP in July 2010.
News of his death spread quickly throughout the Caribbean and elsewhere with colleagues remembering Jacobs as a wise and patient mentor.
"I looked up to him when I was starting out in the Dominican Republic and Haiti, and will always look up to his example," said Jonathan M. Katz, a former AP correspondent who replaced Jacobs in Haiti.
Jacobs\’ wife said they cherished weekends in Connecticut as a break from city life, and the day he suddenly became ill was like any other.
"He was calm, happy and seemed so much at peace and complete," she said. "He even let me do the grilling for the first time. It was a peaceful day."
In addition to his wife, Jacobs is survived by his parents, Sharon and Steve Jacobs of Kingwood, Texas; and his brother, Trent Jacobs of Houston.
Funeral arrangements have not been finalized.