One of Chicago's leading African-American bankers has died.
Jacoby Dickens, majority owner and chairman of Seaway Bancshares, died Sunday at his home in Fisher Island, Fla., Crain's Chicago Business reported.
Dickens, who was 83, had recently been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, the publication reported in its online edition.
Seaway has $547 million of assets and 11 branches in Illinois and Wisconsin.
A native of Panama City, Fla., Dickens moved to Chicago with his family in 1946 when he was a teenager. He worked as a building engineer who later amassed investments in apartment buildings and bowling alleys.
In 1979, Dickens was asked to join the board of Seaway, which was founded in 1965 to counter discriminatory lending practices on the city's South Side.
Three years later, Dickens became Seaway's chairman, according to the company's website.
In 1994, Seaway set up a community development corporation to rebuild neighborhoods. Four years later, Seaway became the first black-owned bank to offer online banking. In 2000, Seaway took over foreign currency exchange services at O'Hare International Airport.
In 2010, Seaway acquired the failed First Suburban National Bank in Maywood, Ill., from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. The following year, Seaway purchased Legacy Bank in Milwaukee from the FDIC.
As Seaway expanded, Dickens stressed the company's commitment to upholding its mission. "We are just as committed to serving the needs of our community as we were the day we opened our doors," Dickens and Walter Grady, Seaway's chief executive, wrote in the company's 2011 annual report.
A Seaway spokesperson did not respond immediately to a request for comment.