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Shelandra Y. Ford
Historical Markers of Shelby County

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Dr. Joseph Edison Walker 1880-1958

In 1923, Dr. J.E. Walker co-founded and was the first president of Universal Life Insurance Company, established in Memphis. A physician by training, he helped organize the old Memphis Negro Chamber of Commerce in 1926. Walker served as president of the National Negro Business League, founded by Booker T. Washington, and the National Insurance Association. A founder and first president of the Memphis Urban League, he co-founded and was the first president of Tri-State Bank in 1946. Dr. Walker received national recognition from Jet and Ebony magazines and from President Truman.