David, also known as "Davey", inadvertently gave Jack Kelly the idea to start the Newsboy's Strike, as well as making sure to create the Newsboys' Union to protect the strikers. He is intelligent and rational, keeping an eye out for his friends.
David is one of the eldest Jacobs children, having a young brother named Les and a sister, close to his own age, named Sarah. He and Les became newsies after their father broke his arm and was fired from a dead-end job at a factory, which caused the brothers to have to support the family. The Jacobs family, however unfortunate, is very tightly knit.
David and Les became newsies just a day before Joseph Pulitzer raised the newspaper's prices, and David drew attention to himself right away, complaining that he was given one paper less than what he paid for. This caught the eye of Jack Kelly, who adopted the Jacobs brothers as selling partners and taught them the best ways to sell papers. The next day, when the newsies found out that the costs had been raised, David accidentally gave Jack the idea to organize a strike. He, Boots, and Jack were also the group that went to Brooklyn to convince Spot Conlon to join the strike. David played a key role in organizing and maintaining the Newsboys' Union throughout its existence.
Jack Kelly was David's best friend. They relied on each other for advice, comfort, and laughter, and they are also widely shipped by the Newsies fandom. Canonically, however, Jack's romantic interest is David's sister Sarah, and Jack and David are portrayed as nothing more than friends.