William Joslin ’47

January 29, 2011

Spring 2012

William Joslin ’47 was an attorney and conservationist who gained local renown for his commitment to public service. He passed away on January 29, 2011, at the age of 90.

Joslin was born in Raleigh, N.C., earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and finished one year at Columbia Law School before serving in the Navy during World War II.

After the war, Joslin completed his degree at the Law School and clerked for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black. Joslin later returned to Raleigh, where he practiced criminal law, tax law, and real estate law. 

Joslin dedicated himself to civic issues in his hometown. He served as assistant city attorney in Raleigh, as chairman of the boards of elections in Wake County and statewide, and as chairman of the Wake County Democratic Party. In addition, Joslin served as board chairman of both the North Carolina Nature Conservancy and the North Carolina Botanical Garden. He helped save numerous green spaces in the Raleigh area, and the 4.5-acre property that he and his wife purchased in 1951 is slated to become a public park.

Joslin is survived by his wife, Mary; children Ann, Caroline, David, Nell, William, and James; brothers Devereux and Hinsdale; 15 grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren.