Jacob de Haas, one of the last of the founding fathers of political Zionism, died last night in Mount Sinai Hospital where he had been a patient for several weeks. He was 64 years old.
Prolific author and journalist, he was during his lifetime secretary and biographer of Dr. Theodor Herzl, a leader in organizing the Zionist movement in England and the United States and editor and correspondent of several newspapers here and abroad.
In recent years he became dissatisfied with the “general Zionists” and turned to the New Zionist Organization, headed by Vladimir Jabotinsky, of which he became the representative in the United States.
Private funeral services were arranged for Tuesday from his home, 50 Morningside Drive, with Rabbi David de Sola Pool officiating. Burial will be in the Sephardic Cemetery. Mr. de Haas is survived by his wife, a daughter, Florence, and a son, Aaron.
Born Aug. 13, 1872, of a Dutch family in London, he studied at English and German colleges and devoted a good part of his youth to newspaper work. He was editor of the London Jewish World, served on the Daily Chronicle, Daily News and Pall Mall Gazette of London and was a correspondent for Die Welt of Vienna.
In 1896, after joining the Zionist movement, he introduced Dr. Herzl to the English public and from then on was associated with him personally in all his activities until his death. He served as his honorary English secretary and then came to the United States in 1902 at Dr. Herzl’s request.
In the United States, Mr. de Haas became secretary of the Provisional Zionist Committee and of the Federation of American Zionists, and later secretary of the Palestine Development League and the Palestine Endowment Fund. He is credited with having introduced Louis D. Brandeis to Zionism, and with Brandeis twice visited Palestine, in 1919 and again in 1924. He later wrote a biography of the Supreme Court Justice, published in 1928.
Mr. de Haas helped to organize the American Jewish Congress and was one of its representatives at the Paris peace conference in 1919. As a lecturer, he traveled widely, covering the Near East, the United States and Canada in his tours.
His published works include a two-volume biography, “Theodor Herzl,” “Louis D. Brandeis,” “The Great Betrayal,” written in conjunction with Dr. Stephen S. Wise, “History of Palestine,” “Encyclopedia of Jewish Knowledge” and a host of articles for newspapers and periodicals.
The Archive of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency includes articles published from 1923 to 2008. Archive stories reflect the journalistic standards and practices of the time they were published.