Born in Romania in 1936 and raised there in a rural environment while his father served in the military during World War II, Jacob Pfeiffer spent much time during those years drawing from nature and from his imagination stirred by reading.
Following World War II, in 1948 when he was twelve and following World War II, he and his mother fled Romania for Austria to join his father, a former P.O.W. The journey was arduous because they walked at night through Romania and Hungary, and during the journey were imprisoned for three months. Their release was contingent upon returning to Romania, but they avoided tracking and finally arrived in Austria where the father worked at an American Military base.
At age nineteen, he immigrated to Cincinnati, Ohio with his parents, and continued art studies that he had begun as a child. He painted primarily in oil and depicted subjects of American Historical narrative with special interest in American Indian genre. Later his palette expanded to include wildlife, still life, and Caucasian figures, especially females, in landscape. His style reflects his goal of 'mastering' the techniques of the Old Masters.
Combining his art activity with a variety of jobs to support his family, he finally gained gallery representation when he was age 32.
During the 1980's, he submitted three paintings to juried shows hosted by the National Collectors Society in the Midwest, and won three consecutive Best of Show. One of his Indian paintings is in the permanent collection of the National Center for American Western Art in Kerrville, Texas. In the early 1990s, he has entered many more competitions including the Hoosier Salon at the Indiana State Museum; the Alexandria Museum of Art in Louisiana; the Oil Painters of America in various locations, and the Salon International in Texas. He is a signature member of the O.P.A.