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Sunday, Sep 25, 2022
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No. 3 , Irwin M. Jacobs



Estimated net worth: $1.7 billion

Irwin M. Jacobs, 73, is among this year’s San Diego Business Journal’s wealthiest residents to also make the Forbes 400 Richest Americans list.

He made his fortune on wireless patents.

Ranked No. 3 locally, the man who ran Sorrento Valley-based Qualcomm Inc. until 2005, when he handed the reins to his son, Paul, is worth $1.7 billion. He’s ranked No. 297 on the Forbes list published three months ago.

Paul Jacobs also makes the Business Journal’s annual list of wealthiest residents, coming in at No. 18.

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Though retired from CEO duties, Irwin Jacobs remains chairman of Qualcomm, which he founded in 1985.

The former Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor, who taught electrical engineering, is a native of New Bedford, Mass. He’s also been professor of computer science and engineering locally, at UC San Diego.

According to published reports, Irwin Jacobs and his wife, Joan, are believed to be among the most generous philanthropists in the country. Not surprisingly, much of where the Jacobs have donated to have been projects and programs dealing with education, including the UCSD Jacobs School of Engineering.

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