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John Jacobs

2015 Speaker

JOHN JACOBS is co-founder and chief creative optimist of The Life is Good Company, which spreads the power of optimism through inspiring art, a passionate community, and groundbreaking nonprofit work. Jacobs and his brother Bert launched their business with $78 in their pockets, selling t-shirts in the streets of Boston. Today, Life is Good is a $100 million positive lifestyle brand sold by over 4,000 retailers across the U.S. and Canada. Jacobs wrote and illustrated his first poorly spelled book at the age of five. He’s been writing and drawing ever since, graduating from the University of Massachusetts with dual degrees in English and Art. He began designing and selling T-shirts with his brother Bert during his senior year. After five years traveling in their van together, the brothers officially launched Life is Good.

When he is not creating inspiring content, Jacobs enjoys outdoor adventures with his family, awkward dancing and diving into the water to catch things. To inspire others to choose optimism and grow the good in their lives, Bert and Jacobs wrote “Life is Good: The Book/ How to Live with Purpose and Enjoy the Ride,” published by National Geographic in September 2015. Jacobs has been awarded honorary doctorates from several universities for entrepreneurship, business innovation and philanthropy. He and Life is Good have been featured on “CNNMoney,” CNBC’s “Business Nation,” ABC News’ “Nightline,” NBC’s “The Today Show” and in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Inc. Magazine and Men’s Health magazine, among others. Jacobs and his brother Bert are the youngest of six siblings from Needham, MA.  They credit their mother as the first powerful optimist in their lives, and the inspiration for Life is Good.  @lifeisgood