John Allen, co-founder of Chicago-based AMLI Residential, always wanted to do business “right,” with honesty and integrity.

He died Sunday after a long battle with cancer. He was 76 years old.

Allen, who was born in Mankato, Minn., graduated from Indiana Unversity and moved to Chicago to work for law firm Mayer Brown to specialize in partnership, corporate and real estate investments.

In 1980, he co-founded AMLI Realty Co. and continued to serve as president for more than 20 years, his longtime friend and business partner Gregory T. Mutz said.

The duo grew the company, which is now AMLI Residential, into a thriving real estate development, management and investment business with a presence is nine different markets and a strong holding in the Chicagoland area.

Allen’s ability to make complicated things easy led the company to see great success, Mutz says.

“John Allen was a consummate real estate professional–smart, perceptive and with an incredible sense of how to get a deal done so that both sides felt good about how things turned out and wanting to do future business together,” he said.

Friends and family will remember his “million-dollar smile," Mutz says. “John was kind, witty and considerate---a great friend and a good man."

After retiring from AMLI, Allen went on to travel the world, visiting all seven continents and taking photos along the way.

Allen is survived by his wife, Carolyn, four children and six grandchildren.