Hans Jacob was born in Berlin in 1896. He grew up as an orphan and started to write early for newspapers and journals. He later worked as a journalist for the "Vossische Zeitung" and the "Berliner Tageblatt", and as a translator of French and Italian literature. In 1926, he was appointed official interpreter of the German government at the League of Nations. In 1933, he emigrated to Austria and later to Paris where he was kept in an internment camp. In 1940, he emigrated to the USA through Spain and Portugal, and returned to France in 1948 where he worked as an interpreter for UNESCO. Hans Jacob died in Paris in 1961.