Best for his 1902 short story "The Monkey's Paw," Jacobs also penned popular novels such as A Master of Craft.
After studying at the University of London's Birkbeck College, he worked as a civil servant. He became a full-time writer after the publication of his 1898 short story collection Sea Urchins.
Many of his works were illustrated by the British artist Will Owen.
He and his wife, suffragette Agnes Eleanor Williams, settled in Essex, England, and welcomed a daughter in 1901.
His short story "The Interruption" was adapted into a 1955 film (titled Footsteps in the Fog) starring Stewart Granger.