1938 - 2021
William Lilley III was co-founder and chairman of iMapData Inc., an information company that delivers globally-based geo-spatial intelligence on a web-based platform enabling users to visualize data and create maps and reports by accessing and merging databases on socio-demographics, physical infrastructure, institutional infrastructure (schools, universities, places of worship, police stations, fire stations, etc.), political boundaries. elected officials, taxes, regulations, businesses, jobs, and specific industry data. Lilley made iMapData available to the Center for scholars and students to work on multiple issues involving the American West—e.g., measuring water availability and usage in California, analyzing where the West is rich and where it is poor, and measuring different ways that the rural American West has changed over the last century.
Lilley's initial interest in the West came from his Yale academic work, especially his PhD dissertation which focused on economic and political development in California and Nevada in the late 19th century. Lilley subsequently taught American history at Yale for eight years and then left academia for several different careers. First Lilley worked in the government, as Deputy Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development, then as Director of the U.S. Council on Wage & Price Stability, and then as Staff Director of the Budget Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives. Lilley left government to work in the private sector for CBS Inc., the media company in New York, where he was Senior Vice President of Corporate Affairs for seven years.
Lilley also published extensively, mostly during his years at Yale and at iMapData. His writings have focused on how government policies affect local economic activity, on the economics of professional sports businesses and on the socio-economic makeup of U.S. state and local political jurisdictions.
Lilley passed away at his home in Washington, DC, on July 19, 2021. His passing was peaceful, with his beloved family, his dogs, and his books by his side. In gratitude for Lilley's dedication to the Bill Lane Center and in recognition of his contributions to western history, we are pleased to announce the creation of the William Lilley Memorial Fund. It will stand as an enduring tribute to his service and his scholarship, instilling his love of the region for generations to come.