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Robert Jacob is an award-winning author and lecturer with a passion for history and a commitment to historical accuracy. For over 50 years, he has been actively involved in living history portrayals, including the French and Indian War, Revolutionary War, Mountain Man, Western Gunfighter, and Pirates.

After earning a bachelor’s degree from Duquesne University in his hometown of Pittsburgh, PA, Robert completed his master’s degree at Virginia Commonwealth University. In 1982, he entered the US Marine Corps Reserve and augmented to active duty the following year. As a military occupational specialty instructor, Robert earned the designation of Master Training Specialist and later became Commanding Officer of the Marine Detachment at the school where he had previously instructed. Chief Warrant Officer 5 Robert Jacob retired to Florida in 2013.


While researching pirates, Robert realized that much of the historical record was contradictory and incorrect. This motivated him to write his first book, A Pirate’s Life in the Golden Age of Piracy. Fans attending book signings and festivals in Florida inspired him to write his second book, Pirates of the Florida Coast: Truths, Legends, and Myths. His third book, Blackbeard: The Truth Revealed, is in publication and will be released this summer.

Robert is still a living historian and a renowned public speaker who lectures on a variety of historical topics. His engaging presentations are sought after by community organizations, festivals, libraries, and museums, throughout the United States, and he has appeared on the History Channel’s series Beyond Oak Island as a pirate expert.



Harriman, TN May 18-19, 2024

Rock Hall, MD August 9-11, 2024



St. Pete History Museum



Synergy Connection Radio

The Kelly Kelly Show

00:00 / 18:45

The Authors Show

00:00 / 21:42


Harriman, TN May 18-19, 2024

Rock Hall, MD August 9-11, 2024

Cedar Key, FL November 1-3, 2024


5.0 out of 5 stars 

An encyclopedic, very entertaining discussion of pirates, their times and lifestyles.

I purchased this book at a publisher’s conference as an anniversary gift for my wife (it’s a long story). I’m no expert on pirates, but I can’t imagine a better book for anyone interested in learning about pirates, their times, and their lifestyles — along with lots of related European and American history.

Actually, the 486 page “A Pirate’s Life” is more a very readable, small encyclopedia than a book. This makes for easy reading whether you’re interested in learning about a specific pirate such as Captain Kidd (Two disloyal crew members recovered portions of his buried treasure after Kidd was executed in London.), Blackbeard’s 16-year-old girlfriend (You won’t believe what happened after his wedding night.), or a detailed discussion of pirates’ weapons (Ever wonder why broad swords evolved into rapiers?).

Included are dozens of original illustrations from the age of pirates including several treasure maps of treasures yet undiscovered. Flipping through these alone make for an interesting evening’s reading.

Beyond pirates, the book is a political history of Europe and the Americas from the early 1600s to the early 1700s. It was European rivalries as much as greed which drove the age of pirates.

A minor fault is that the book is missing an index. I was interested in reading about Queen Elizabeth I and Sir Francis Drake, but without an index it took me a while to realize Drake wasn’t really a traditional pirate, rather an extension of the British Navy plundering the Spanish. Fortunately, the book’s detailed table of contents generally makes finding a topic, or just browsing easy.

I recommend this book both for the serious history buff as well as those just curious about one of the more intriguing historical eras.

RHG May 23, 2022


I picked up your wonderful book “A Pirate’s Life in the Golden Age of Piracy” in hardcover at the Lake Mary Pirate and Mermaid Fest. Your book is more valuable than gold, and I want you to know it is now one of my most prized possessions. I am very impressed with the level of your research and am happy to support you. Excellent work and look forward to learning more!

I would love to get a signed copy of “Pirates of the Florida Coast” in hardcover to complete my current collection. Your hard work, diligence, and passion should be well admired and you have done something worth every bit of praise.

Grey Brewer


“A factual account on “A Pirate’s life”. Great takeaways and an entertaining journey. Most highly recommended.”

Robert Aey
October 24, 2018


“I have always been interested in the history of pirates and thought that I might enjoy this book. I have thoroughly enjoyed every page of the book and found it very informative and entertaining. A must buy!”

September 11, 2018


“I love the idea of this book! As a Floridian, I hope to share these pirate stories in towns like St. Augustine and Key West!!”

Tyler B

5.0 out of 5 stars 

Like taking a history class, only better!

This is a very stunning and beautifully written book that is chock full of fascinating historical facts about not just pirates, but American history too. I learned a great deal about who, what, where, when, how and why pirates came to be, and about factual information regarding the pirate lifestyle. He included everything from pirate garb, to popular seaworthy cuisine, to common pirate lingo. A must read for the pirate and history aficionado!

Amazon Customer January 13, 2022


“Robert Jacob’s work, “A Pirate’s Life in the Golden Age of Piracy”, is exceptional! Packed with historical tidbits and written with a smooth flow and sharp wit, this book will entertain and inform anyone with any level of interests in pirates. For those who study the life of pirates or who are avid living historians this book will prove to be a valuable asset. For those who simply have a passing interest this book will serve to be an entertaining “crash course” in pirates and history during the time in which they roamed the waters. In “A Pirate’s Life” Jacob manages to transport the reader back in time to enjoy the thrilling lives of pirates while informing and educating. Great to read while relaxing with your favorite libation – seems fitting to enjoy some rum while reading this fast paced work!”



“I was expecting a pretty thorough coverage of pirate history, facts and lore. This book delivered FAR beyond my expectations! A truly wonderful author and delivery of the most tantalizing aspects of piracy.  You can even find games and recipes on the website! Such a fun experience. I definitely recommend this to anyone thirsting for more knowledge on pirates, the sea, lore, or even those that live on the east coast with a deep connection to this chapter of history ( i.e. Outer Banks and Coastal Carolina for sure). Can’t wait to see what’s next!”



An excellent book! A great resource for all things pirates!  It was an honor and a pleasure to meet Mr. Robert Jacob at the Billy Bowlegs Festival here in Florida!

Paul G.


“Until someone successfully builds a time machine humanity must rely on historians to give us a sense of the past. In this work, the author deftly paints a broad yet detailed image of a pirate’s life. While densely packed with historical information, the “juicy” bits of this book are the wonderful explorations of the milieu and ephemera of the life and times of a pirate. With such insightful observations found between its covers, this book makes time travel seems quite unnecessary. This beautifully written tome is a delightful read for seasoned scholar and armchair historian alike. Well crafted, insightful, and illuminating, this book is a treasure chest of entertainment and knowledge. An all around great read.”



“A Pirate’s Life is a well-written, informative, and entertaining book. I couldn’t put it down. I especially enjoyed the numerous illustrations throughout. Mr. Jacob has definitely put a lot of time and care into this project, and the result is a wonderful book for all to enjoy.”

October 2, 2018

Video review by Adam Morrow 


“Wonderfully written and most highly factual account I’ve ever had the pleasure to read. Five stars. Highly recommended for any pirate enthusiast & historian.”

S. Villwock, Dec. 30, 2019


“I purchased this book in advance of a presentation by the Author and couldn’t wait to read it. Typically, books that are so filled with facts take me some time to get through, but I consumed the material very quickly. The presentation of material is done in a timeline format, which is really helpful to keep the facts in context. The Author does a great job of weeding out fiction while presenting the facts. Some of the information presented opened my eyes to long-held misconceptions. I highly recommend this as a great addition to your pirate library.”

Michael Hios
February 27, 2019


“Wow! Reading this book is like receiving a broadside from The Queen Ann’s Revenge, but instead of cannon ball and grapeshot tearing through hull and sail, one’s brain if peppered with knowledge and information about the daily life of pirates and privateers. A thrilling read for fans of high seas adventure, lovers of the waters and beaches of the East Coast of the United States, and curious history buffs. Well written, through, and entertaining!”



“Before reading this book, my knowledge of pirates was limited to Johnny Depp, Long John Silvers, and Roberto Clemente. Robert Jacob managed to immerse me into the lives of pirates. The wealth of knowledge on every page paints a detailed seascape of nearly eighty years of history.”



“This is a treasure trove of information on a period and a way of life. Sure, as my husband says, you can find it all elsewhere, but piecemeal. Here you have it in one place, and in astounding detail.

Your head will be swimming. For twenty years I’ve bought every book on pirates, on sea adventure in general, that I’ve come across, both fiction and nonfiction. This outstrips anything I have in terms of the sort of minutia that will make my own sea saga come alive. If I screw up, assign the wrong number of guns to the wrong type of ship, no big deal. I’m writing a comical piece. All I’m after is to make it sound good. If you need to get it right, find the information you require here.

I am not a verified purchase. I bought directly from the author, via Facebook. Amazon, don’t hold that against me.”

October 10, 2018
Mimi Thurston


“If you are a lover of history and/or pirates, this book is for you. This is an amazing, well-researched account of pirates throughout history. It details the lives of pirates from the weapons they used to what clothes they wore. I highly recommend this book!”

Amazon Customer
August 31, 2018

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