Joseph W. Catharine

President of the National Association of REALTORS® - 1938

Son and grandson of a sea captain, Joseph W. Catharine*, MAI, CPM, forsook the sea for real estate, finding a career on land no less adventurous. A captain of the real estate industry, Mr. Catharine worked his way up from office boy to president of the Chauncey Real Estate Company, Ltd., one of the oldest companies in New York founded in 1843.

Vice president of the Kings County Savings Bank and a director of the Home Title Guaranty Company, the Homeland Insurance Company, the Brooklyn Real Estate Exchange, Ltd., and the Downtown Brooklyn Association, Mr. Catharine also served as president of the Real Estate Association of the State of New York and as vice-president of the Brooklyn Real Estate Board.

Active in many civic and charitable organizations, he served as trustee of the Boys Welcome Hall, the Caledonian Hospital, the Presbyterian Home for the Aged, Fort Hamilton Branch YMCA, treasurer of the Brooklyn Association for Improving the Condition of the Poor, and president of the Board of Trustees of Bethany Presbyterian Church.

Throughout the year of his presidency, Mr. Catharine in his addresses analyzed the stream of current economic forces making real estate a desirable investment. It was during his term that the designation CPM was adopted. President Catharine called for a national attack on urban blight through teamwork by public and private sectors. The program was initiated in cooperation with HOLC, the first large experiment in cooperative neighborhood rehabilitation.

Recognizing the contribution of women to the real estate profession, President Catharine recommended the formation of a Women's Council of REALTORS®, which was founded the year following his presidency.

Source: Presidents of the National Association of REALTORS®, (Chicago: NAR, 1980).