Honoring a Legacy

840 Impact is dedicated creating pathways through real estate trades and careers to optimize and build generational wealth.

Dempsey J. Travis

Dempsey J. Travis held many titles, including an entrepreneur, author, historian, civil rights activist, and a self-made multi-millionaire. Sought to revitalize African-American communities in Chicago, Travis purchased the Travis Realty Corporation building in 1949, located at 840 East 87th Street on the Southside of Chicago. Shortly after starting Travis Realty Corporation in 1953, he opened Sivart Mortgage Corporation to increase the availability of mortgages for African Americans. Collectively, companies worked to sell properties in the Chicago area to African Americans displaced by urban renewal projects. In 1961, Travis founded the United Mortgage Bankers of America and was president until 1974. Continuing his business ventures, Travis later opened Freeway Mortgage and Investment and Dempsey J. Travis Securities.

As an activist, Mr. Travis worked diligently to close the economic gap and fought to end redlining practices that discriminated against African American communities. He organized with Martin Luther King, Jr., campaigned for his friend Mayor Harold Washington, and advised President Richard Nixon’s Housing Task Force and President Gerald Ford’s Task Force on Urban Renewal.

The legacy of Dempsey Travis represents black excellence at its best, as he has paved the way for many historians, including our former President, Barack Obama. He has received various honors, including as one of the Largest 100 Black Businesses in America by Black Enterprise Magazine, Ebony Magazine’s 100 Most Influential Black Americans, and Black Businessman of the Year by Dollar and Sense Magazine. Historically, the new home of 840 Impact has provided a house of hope and opportunities for African American professionals and business owners to thrive onward.