Sol M. Jacobs, a native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, was born on December 13, 1910. After working various jobs in Pittsburgh and a stint in the army during WWII, Jacobs moved to Greensboro in 1949. There he took over operation of Sam Lejeune deli from his parents, which was later named Jay’s Deli. Jay's was one of Greensboro’s only integrated restaurants and hosted informal discussion groups. Jacobs left the restaurant business in 1979 to pursue a career in local politics.
Although he was unsuccessful in two campaigns for mayor, Jacobs continued to be active in issues such as representative government, adequate housing, and equal access to the government. He established a grassroots organization, Citizens for Representative Government (now Citizens for Responsible Government). Sol Jacobs died on May 8, 1994 at the age of 83.