Memphis is located in the southwest corner of Tennessee and is the county seat of Shelby County. The estimated 2016 population of Memphis is 652,171, making Memphis the second largest city in Tennessee behind Nashville (est. pop. – 660,338) and the 25th largest city in the United States. Prior to its official founding, The Bluffs of Memphis were occupied by a succession of Native Americans, traders and forts. Memphis was founded in 1819 by John Overton, Andrew Jackson and James Winchester on the edge of the widest part of the Mississippi River.
Widely known as the “Home of the Blues & Birthplace of Rock ‘n’ Roll, close to 20 percent of the earliest inductees into the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame have come from within a 100-mile radius of Memphis. Elvis Presley purchased Graceland for his home in 1957. Graceland is the second most visited home in the United States next to the White House in Washington, D.C. Memphis is mentioned in more songs than any other city in the world – over 400 according to Billboard Magazine.
Piggly Wiggly – the world’s first self-service grocery store opened in Memphis in 1916. Kemmons Wilson opened the first Holiday Inn in 1952 in his hometown of Memphis. . Memphis is home to FedEx, founded here in 1971. International Paper & Auto Zone also have their home offices located in Memphis. Known as “American’s Distribution Center”, Memphis International Airport (MEM) is the second busiest cargo airport in the world. St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital founded in Memphis by Danny Thomas in 1962 is rated as the #4 Children’s Cancer Research Hospital in the nation by US News & World Report for 2018.
Memphis is home to the University of Memphis, University of Tennessee Health Science Center, Rhodes College, Christian Brothers University and LeMoyne-Owen College, among others. The University of Memphis’ current enrollment is 21,521. Memphis’ FedEx Forum is home to the NBA’s Memphis Grizzlies and Major League Baseball’s (AAA – St. Louis) Memphis Redbirds play their games downtown at Autozone Park.