Raised in a humble Jewish household, David Jacobs would earn his fame by creating some of the wealthiest families in television history. After starting out as an illustrator and researcher for encyclopedias, Jacobs took a chance on screenwriting, eventually finding work on such series as "Family" and "Kingston: Confidential". He wrote a script called "Houston" about a Texas oil magnate and cattle rancher, his family, and the internal power struggles over their empire. Houston was relocated and renamed "Dallas", which became a hit for CBS, as well as one of the longest-running series in television history (1978 to 1991). Prior to "Dallas", Jacobs had pitched a soap centered on four married couples, but abandoned it when CBS insisted on a glitzy "saga"-type show instead. After "Dallas" became a hit, Jacobs's premise was resurrected as "Knots Landing", a spin-off of "Dallas" that ran from 1979 to 1993. In writing about his '80s successes for the New York Times, Jacobs claimed the main difference between "Knots Landing" and evening soaps like "Dallas" was the former's fundamentally middle-class underpinnings. He wrote: "The pleasure of watching "Dynasty" and "Dallas" and "Falcon Crest" was voyeuristic "Dynasty" and "Dallas" and "Falcon Crest" were about Them. "Knots Landing" is about us." Jacobs's other credits during the '80s and '90s included the short-lived series "Berrenger's", which revolved around a department store; the war drama "Homefront", which he executive-produced; and a "Knots Landing" reunion miniseries in 1997.