Born in Elizabethton, Tennessee, Ned Jacob finished high school in New Jersey and went west. At the age of 18, Jacob hitchhiked west $50 in his pocket. He ended up in Montana where he worked for the saddle horse and pack operations at Glacier National Park.
It was in Montana where Jacob met artist Ace Powell. Powell became a mentor to Jacob. It was in Montana, too, where Ned became friends with the local Blackfoot Indians. Thus began his fascination with the clothing, accoutrements and customs of the Northern Plains Indians.
In the early sixties Jacob moved south to Taos, renting Walter Ufer’s studio and becoming friends with the artist Bettina Steinke, the second major influence on his art.
In the intervening years his career flourished. His first major gallery exposure was at the historic Kennedy Galleries in New York. His first solo show in New Mexico was in 1979 at Fenn Galleries – now Nedra Matteucci Galleries – in Santa Fe.
Jacob has been a member of the Cowboy Artists of America, the National Academy of Western Artists and the Salmagundi Club in New York. He has travelled and painted in Mexico, Spain, Russia, the West Indies, Africa, Fiji and Bali.