Ariel Louis Jacobs

Ariel Louis Jacobs
World Trade Center

Working the Room

Watch the salesman work the room. His banter is interrupted because his cellphone rings incessantly, but every comer's gaze is met. The people in this room feel important; they feel at ease. They like this guy. This skill has made him a success.

The room this time is called Dave & Buster's. Today is Saturday and business is not at hand, but the salesman's skills are at work. He sips his Grey Goose martini as the partygoers fete him with gifts for his 30th birthday. He slowly unwraps each offering. "He loved his friends and family and loved entertaining them and making people more comfortable," said his wife, Jenna.

She gave birth to the salesman's son, Gabriel, on Sept. 17. That was nine days after the party, one day after the salesman's birthday and six days after his death. It was six days before their first wedding anniversary.

Ariel Louis Jacobs, known to friends as R- E and to family members as Airy, used his charm to climb from Radio Shack clerk to chief of United States operations for a multinational company, Caplin Systems, in the space of a decade.

Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on December 2, 2001.

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