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Home Tennessee Shelby County Memphis Historical Markers Universal Life Insurance Building

Universal Life Insurance Building

480 Linden Avenue, Memphis, TN , USA

Latitude & Longitude: 35° 8' 14.0244", -90° 2' 44.7"
  Tennessee TN State Historical Marker
Tennessee State
Historical Marker

Designed by the African-American architectural firm of
McKissack and McKissack and constructed in 1949, this building houses the
national headquarters of the Universal Life Insurance Company. The
Egyptian-Revival style of this building is an ongoing example of the interest
that African Americans developed in the 1920s in Egyptian art. During the era
of racial segregation, it was one of the few places where Blacks could gather
for their civic and social affairs.
230B Universal Life Insurance Company
Founded in 1923 by Dr. J.E. Walker, with co-founders A.W. Willis, Sr., and
M.W. Bonner, this family business grew to be the fourth largest
African-American-owned life insurance company in the United States.
Dr. Walker's son, A. Maceo Walker, continued the business from 1952
until 1983. He was succeeded by his daughter, Patricia Walker Shaw,
who ran it until her death in 1985. Descendants of all three families made
significant contributions to the company's growth.

Last updated: 2/14/2015 15:17:00
See all Tennessee African American History locations.
Universal Life Insurance Building Historical Marker Location Map, Memphis, Tennessee Map