Joseph E. Corcoran

Joseph E. Corcoran passed away peacefully of congestive heart failure on June 3, 2020, in the company of his children, grandchildren, and great- grandchild at his home in Milton. He was 84.

After founding Corcoran Jennison in 1971, Joe built and managed 20,000-plus housing units and thousands of acres of real estate, including housing, hospitality, office, retail, and mixed-use projects in more than 15 states.

A pioneer in advancing the concept of mixed-income housing and converting troubled public housing projects into successful communities, he led the partnership that transformed Dorchester’s Columbia Point into Harbor Point, a community that became a national model for the federal government’s HOPE VI program.

In 1994, Joe founded The American City Coalition to advocate for innovation in urban revitalization.

In addition to housing, he developed and owned Ocean Edge Resort and Golf Club on Cape Cod, and CJ Hospitality continues to manage the property.

A 1959 graduate of Boston College and a former board member, he created the Joseph E. Corcoran Center for Real Estate and Urban Action at the Carroll School of Business at Boston College in 2014 to educate and inspire the next generation of professionals to use real estate as a catalyst for turning struggling neighborhoods into stable and flourishing communities.

Joe was recognized for his abundant philanthropic pursuits and leadership positions with many organizations, including The Boston Foundation, the YMCA of Greater Boston, Boston College, Boston College High School, the American Ireland Fund, the Board of Registration of Real Estate Brokers and Salesmen for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, the Urban Land Institute, the Boys and Girls Clubs of Dorchester and St. Mary’s Center for Women and Children in Dorchester.

He was a U.S. Army veteran of the Korean War era.

Joe was predeceased by his wife, the former Rosemarie Gildea of Dorchester, and is survived by his sister, Frances Richer of Milton. He is also survived by his children, Joseph J. Corcoran and Gayle (Donovan) Corcoran of Milton; Suzanne Corcoran Early and Dennis J. Early of Alexandria, Virginia; Michael J. Corcoran and Linda (Donovan) Corcoran; Tricia (Corcoran) Chapple and Paul Chapple of Milton; Kathryn Corcoran and Russell Deane of Quincy; Sean Gildea Corcoran and his partner Alisa Kasmer of Los Angeles, California; and Patrick Corcoran of Arlington.

Joe leaves 16 grandchildren: Rosemarie Corcoran, Jennifer Corcoran, Joseph Corcoran, Olivia Corcoran, Owen Corcoran Early, Cole Joseph Early, Mari Corcoran Egan, Kayla Corcoran, Michael Corcoran, Rachel Corcoran, Aiden Corcoran, Samantha Chapple, Nicola Chapple, Mickey Chapple, Kelly Chapple, and Charles Deane. He also leaves one great-grandchild: Alexis Egan.

Funeral services will be private.

Donations in lieu of flowers can be made to the Boys and Girls Clubs of Dorchester at or St. Mary’s Center at

To send a sympathy message to Joe’s family, visit

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