AUTHORS Staff Reports
Jimmy Webb, the co-founder of regional real estate brokerage and management company Freeman Webb and co-owner of Home Page Media Group parent FW Publishing, has died after a long illness. He was 71.
Webb graduated from Montgomery Bell Academy and Vanderbilt University before serving in the U.S. Navy as a commissioned officer in Vietnam and with Operation Deep Freeze, supporting research in the Antarctic. Before being honorably discharged in 1975, he received the Navy Commendation Medal and the Navy Unit Citation.
Upon returning to Nashville, Webb worked at insurance brokerage McKee Geny & Thornton for several years before teaming up with Bill Freeman in 1979 to launch Freeman Webb. The duo steadily grew the company, which now manages more than 10,000 apartment units and more than a million square feet of commercial space across the Southeast. The duo last year acquired the Nashville Post, the Nashville Scene and Nfocus magazine from holding company SouthComm and a few months later bought the holding company for the Home Page Media family of local news websites, including Bellevue Home Page, Brentwood Home Page, Franklin Home Page, Nolensville Home Page, Spring Hill Home Page, Sumner Home Page, and Business Williamson.
“He’s one of the greatest men I’ve ever known, just a wonderful man,” Freeman said Thursday. “He was a very shrewd and good manager and business partner. Everybody respected what he said. His word was his bond.”
In the community, Webb was a former chairman of the YMCA of Middle Tennessee and MBA as well as a past president of Sister Cities of Nashville and a founding member of the executive board of the Nashville Zoo. He also is a former board member of, among others, the Better Business Bureau of Nashville and the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce.
Webb is survived by his wife, Becky Smotherman Webb, and their three sons.