Davis sought a city resolution for the Memphis sanitation workers who went on strike in early 1968 to protest dangerous working conditions and low pay. The strike drew King to Memphis, and Davis joined the civil rights leader on a march down Beale Street that turned violent on March 28, 1968.
Davis also was sitting on the stage when King made the renowned “I've Been to the Mountaintop” speech on April 3, 1968.
King was fatally shot the next day while standing on the balcony of the old Lorraine Motel in Memphis.
In 1967, Davis started one of the first independent, black-owned insurance agencies in the South.
Davis and his wife also fought for civil rights and desegregation of Memphis City Schools.
There wasn't a finer, nicer gentleman in politics and government during that period," U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen, a Memphis Democrat, said in a statement. "Mr. Davis brought people together."
Mayor Jim Strickland said on Twitter that Davis was a “Memphis legend.”
“His leadership inspired us to name the Innovation Center at our Entrepreneurs Network Center for him, where his clarion call for building black-owned businesses will live on,” Strickland said.