Former ALTA Executive Vice President Passes Away

August 30, 2012

William McAuliffe Jr., who served as executive vice president of the American Land Title Association from 1965-1984, passed away Thursday, Aug. 30, in his home at the age of 90.

McAuliffe served as senior vice president for ALTA until 1988 and returned in 2002 to work on the association’s Title Insurance Regulatory Survey, which contains laws, regulations and customs of the title insurance industry in every state and the District of Columbia. Into the month of August, Bill served as a historian and advisor to ALTA staff. Besides being an honorary member of ALTA, he’s an honorary member of the Michigan, Pennsylvania and New Jersey state land title associations.

“Bill was a wealth of knowledge and we were fortunate to have him continue to offer his expertise for the betterment of ALTA and the title industry he loved,” said Michelle Korsmo, ALTA chief executive officer. “Bill was a genuine and compassionate person who was a tireless ambassador of the title industry. The affection that title professionals have for Bill is reflected by honorary membership bestowed on him by ALTA and three state land title associations.”

McAuliffe always said ALTA was very fortunate for its member involvement in association activities and that he enjoyed working with members of the Executive Committee, the Board of Governors and committees. He considered many of ALTA’s members as good friends.

During McAuliffe’s time with ALTA, the association dealt with many of the same issues it faces today, including accusations that title insurance costs are too high. In 1969, former Sen. William Proxmire (D-Wis.) requested a study on title insurance premiums “to protect homebuyers against unreasonably high closing costs.” The request was denied. Another issue was the lack of understanding of title insurance.

Some notable highlights during McAuliffe’s tenure as executive vice president of ALTA include:

  • 1973: ALTA created the Title Insurance Political Action Committee (TIPAC).
  • 1979: ALTA held its first seminar for the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) in Salt Lake City.
  • 1980: ALTA’s education program took a giant step forward when Hart McKillop, an ALTA honorary member, donated his Land Title Institute to the ALTA.
Prior to joining ALTA, McAuliffe was an attorney for the American Medical Association in Chicago, served as chairman of the Planning Commission of the village of Skokie, Ill., and rewrote zoning laws for the village. After graduating from Harvard University, he obtained a bachelor of law degree from Boston College Law School and a master of laws degree from Georgetown Law School.

McAuliffe is survived by his wife, Catherine. The couple celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary on Sept. 22, 2011. He was a devoted father of C. Taney Hamill, Caroline Blakely, William J. McAuliffe, III, Mary Kelly, Robert McAuliffe, Peter McAuliffe, Ruth Young and the late Ann Jones. He is also survived by 15 grandchildren and one great-grandson.

A funeral will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 1 at Little Flower Parish, 5607 Massachusetts Ave., Bethesda, Md.

You can share your memories or express condolences in the Guest Book.

Contact ALTA at 202-296-3671 or