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Industry loses visionary, John L. Dowling, 66.

John L. Dowling, one of the giants of the commercial real estate industry, died on May 4 in Boca Grande, Fla, after suffering from a long illness. He was 66 years old.

Perhaps the most influential real estate brokerage professional in the history of the industry, he was founder and president of Dowling & Co. and long-time executive vice president and member of the board of directors of Cushman & Wakefield, Inc., the global real estate services firm based in New York City. A real estate visionary who helped shape the skylines of America's cities, Mr. Dowling worked with such Fortune 500 companies as General Electric, GTE, IBM, MCI, and Texaco during his tenure with Cushman & Wakefield from 1962 to 1999.

Mr. Dowling's expertise and longevity were legendary in New York City real estate circles, and his influence was felt on a national scale. He was the top producing broker at Cushman & Wakefield 16 times in 20 years.

He represented corporations in real estate negotiations throughout the country, and was respected by numerous merous CEOs as their real estate advisor. A profile in The Wall Street Journal quoted Harold Hicks, a Gulf Oil executive as calling Mr. Dowling "the finest real estate broker in the United States."

Crain's New York Business, in an October 1988 profile of the top real estate professionals in New York said, "Mr. Dowling is perhaps the name that first comes to mind when asked to identify the best in the business."

In the same year, the New York Post said "he is widely regarded as the country's best real estate broker." He was quoted frequently on commercial real estate in The New York Times during his career.

A graduate of Tufts University (AB, 1959), Mr. Dowling served as director of Tufts University Development Corporation, a subsidiary company formed to develop real estate in Boston's financial district at South Station. He contributed his knowledge of the real estate world to help secure a development partner for the project. In 1997 he was elected to the Tufts University Board of Trustees.

His professional associations included membership in the Urban Land Institute, the Real Estate Board of New York and the Committee on University Resources of the Board of Overseers of Harvard College.

Mr. Dowling volunteered time and resources to many organizations over the years, including the Girl Scout Council of Greater New York; the Cardinal's Committee for the Laity in New York; Harvard University, Committee on University Resources; the Archdiocese of New York, and the Graduate School of the New School for Social Research.

He served in the 7th Regiment of the U.S. Army National Guard. He was also a member of University Club, the Anglers' Club of New York, Pequot Yacht Club, Clove Valley Rod & Gun Club, and The Links Club.

Mr. Dowling was born on June 19, 1937 in Scarsdale, New York. He graduated from Stepinac High School in White Plains, N.Y. before going on to Tufts.

He is survived by his wife, Hebe Sanders Dowling, their three children, Meaghan Dowling Chorske, of San Francisco; John Waterhouse Dowling, and Peter Sanders Dowling, both of New York City, and one grandchild, John Sanders Chorske, of San Francisco.
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Publication:Real Estate Weekly
Date:May 19, 2004
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