John Andrew McCauley, 77, Baltimore housing official

October 17, 2005

John Andrew McCauley, a former Baltimore city official who once administered the city's 18,000 public housing units, died of cancer Saturday at Gilchrist Center for Hospice Care. The Homeland resident was 77.

Born in Philadelphia, he served in the Army and was stationed in Italy before earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from LaSalle University.

Mr. McCauley enforced building and housing codes for Philadelphia before moving to Baltimore and being named deputy commissioner of the Department of Housing and Community Development by then-Commissioner Robert C. Embry Jr. in June 1972. Mr. McCauley directed Baltimore's public housing programs through its housing authority.

When Mr. McCauley retired in 1990, Rep. Benjamin L. Cardin said of his long career in public service, "He is most appreciated by the countless Baltimoreans who recognize that a decent place to live is a basic human right that each of us owes to one another."

Mr. Cardin also described Mr. McCauley as a "selfless public servant."

After leaving his city job, Mr. McCauley continued to be quoted in The Sun on public housing issues. In a 1991 editorial page article, he wrote that it was time to tear down the city's high-rise public housing towers, which he called a "corrosive environment."

Family members said he was an avid reader and enjoyed poetry and literature. He was a student of the works of James Joyce.

They said that in his youth he enjoyed singing at gatherings with his friends. After retirement, he traveled, played golf and chess, and painted in watercolors. A member of the Renaissance Institute at the Notre Dame College of Maryland for a decade, he taught a class on humor in American literature. He also wrote short stories.

A Mass of Christian burial will be offered at 10 a.m. Wednesday at St. Mary of the Assumption Roman Catholic Church, 5500 York Road, where he was a member.

Survivors include his wife of 51 years, the former Mary Hannon; a son, John Arthur McCauley of Baltimore; four daughters, Deirdre McCauley of Baltimore, Sheila McCauley of New York, Maryclare McCauley of Berkeley, Calif., and Meaghan McCauley of London; and seven grandchildren.

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