Gregory Jacobs, one of a pair of enterprising panhandlers who hid behind shrubbery and scared the bejeezus out of unsuspecting tourists in Fisherman's wharf, died last Sunday of a sudden heart complication. Jacobs had been at the job for the past 30 years.
According to family members, Jacobs was in and out of the hospital recently, but would always head back to his perch in Fisherman's Wharf. SFWeekly also remembers back in 2009 when rumors swirled that Jacobs had died. At the time, he claimed to have survived nine heart attacks, by his count.
Jacobs is survived by San Francisco's one true bushman David Johnson, who has been gleefully frightening tourists for more than 36 years. Although they often fought for the best spots on the strip of crab stands, t-shirt shops and tourist boats along Jefferson Street, Johnson says the two had become friends after a decades of rivalry. Regarding their mutual love for the crazy job they had invented for themselves, Johnson told KTVU, "It’s the people, it's the atmosphere. It’s a feeling you get just being here, just seeing people laugh. Once you get into it it's a lovely feeling."