Edwin Jacobson, 97, a retired builder and banker in the Washington area, died of cardiac arrest Nov. 11 at Suburban Hospital.

Mr. Jacobson, who lived in Bethesda, was born in Norway. He came to this country in 1903 and settled in Baltimore. He later was a homesteader in Montana. In World War I, he served in the Merchant Marine.

In 1922, he settled in the Washington area and helped found Jacobson Brothers Inc., a construction company which built residences in Northwest Washington and the Bethesda and Chevy Chase areas. He remained active in that business until about 1950.

One of the buildings the company constructed was the Defense Building at 17th and K streets NW. It was completed in 1939 and Mr. Jacobson and his family managed it for 30 years.

In 1937, Mr. Jacobson helped found the First Federal Savings and Loan Association, now part of Columbia First Federal Savings and Loan. He was elected president of First Federal in 1952 and served on its board until he retired in 1974. He was a director of the Security National Bank for 30 years.

Mr. Jacobson also was a founder of the home builders association of D.C.

He was a member of the Corinthian and West River yacht clubs, the Edgemoor Tennis Club and the Columbia Country Club.

Survivors include his wife, Elizabeth, of Bethesda; five children, Edwin Jr., Karen Witowski, and Jim, all of Bethesda, Evelyn Christopher of Potomac and Jacob of Annapolis; 21 grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren.