Irving is on State Highway 183 and the Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railroad, twelve miles west of Dallas in west central Dallas County. It began as a settlement called Gorbit (Gorbett, Torbit) and had a post office under that name from 1889 to 1894. In 1894 the name of the settlement and post office was changed to Kit, and the location was shifted to anticipate the route of a railroad. The line did not follow the original survey, and in 1902 Julius Otto Schulze and Otis Brown promoted a third townsite, called Irving, possibly after Washington Irving, Mrs. Brown's favorite author. The post office was moved to Irving in 1904.
In 1894 Irving, then known as Kit, had Christian and Baptist churches, two gins, a blacksmith shop, and a general store. In 1909 the Kit and Lively schools, with 125 students, became the initial units of the Irving district schools. By 1912 the town had a population of 500, new Catholic and Methodist churches, a bank, a newspaper, and twenty businesses. Irving was incorporated in 1914. In 1925 the population was 357, but by the 1930s a steady increase began. The number of residents more than doubled between 1925 and 1945; businesses exceeded 200. In the 1940s Irving became the center of a consolidated school district.
In 1963 the city had a population of 45,000, 730 businesses, seventy churches, sixteen public schools, three banks, and two hospitals. Manufacturing plants produced paint, cement blocks, aluminum products, millwork, roofing, chemical supplies, petroleum, and electronic components. In 1964 the world's largest trucking terminal was built in Irving. By the end of the 1970s the population was well over 100,000, and the number of businesses close to 2,000. The University of Dallas in Irving was founded in 1956, and the North Lake campus of Dallas Community College opened in 1977. In 1971 the Dallas Cowboys football team began playing their home games at Texas Stadium in Irving, bringing the city its first national recognition. The team played its last game at Texas Stadium in 2008 and the stadium was imploded in 2010. Irving is also the home of the Las Colinas Urban Center, a totally planned, privately funded, 7,000-acre commercial development that houses a number of regional and national businesses, as well as the headquarters of the Boy Scouts of America and the Irving Film Commission. In 1990 Irving had a population of 155,037 and 3,004 rated business. In 2000 the population reached 191,615 with 7,998 businesses. In 2020, Irving was home to 8,500 businesses, with seven Fortune 500 companies making their global headquarters in the city. As of 2019 Irving had an estimated population of 240,000 residents.