William J. Byrnes

william byrnes

April 11, 1940 ~ April 14, 2024

Born in: Brooklyn, New York
Resided in: McLean, Virginia

Bill practiced communications law. Beginning at a time when most people were convinced that telephone service was a natural monopoly, Bill forcefully advocated a fully competitive industry. Bill’s successful briefs in the “Execunet” litigation established the right of MCI and other new entrants to compete in providing long distance serve and to receive access to local exchange facilities. In hundreds of proceedings before the FCC, the courts and state agencies, he eliminated barriers to competition.

Bill graduated from Regis High School in New York City in 1957 and went on to study physics at Fordham University. He graduated from Yale Law School in 1964. Initially, he worked as an attorney for the United States Atomic Energy Commission. Assisting in the Commissions review of regulatory decisions he was particularly proud of his work that led to the rejection of a proposed nuclear power reactor astride an earthquake fault in Malibu, California. Later he worked in international affairs for Comsat and INTELSAT.

Bill was also active in McLean civic matters. He was President of the McLean Citizens Association and President of the McLean Community Foundation and a member of the boards of the McLean Community Center, the McLean Community Players and the McLean Orchestra.

Bill also pursued an avocational interest in community theatre. He appeared on stage at a variety of local theatres and in roles such as Drummond in Inherit the Wind, Saunders in Lend Me a Tenor, David in Hay Fever, Andy in Love Letters, Sagot in Picasso at the Lapin Agile, Victor in Barefoot in the Park, Creon in Medea, Potter in It’s a Wonderful Life, Van Helsing in Dracula, Brigadier Hansbury in Freedom of the City, Stanek in The Protest, Leonato in Much Ado About Nothing, and Weisman in Follies.

Of very special importance was the adoption from Korea by Bill and his late wife Catherine of their beloved twin daughters Jennifer and Suzanne.

Bill was predeceased by his parents, William and Margaret. He is survived by his daughters, Jennifer and Suzanne, and his sisters, Peggy and Alice.

Visitation will be held from 4-6pm on Thursday, April 18th at Money and King Funeral Home at 171 Maple Avenue W. Vienna, VA. and graveside services will be held at 10am on Friday, April 19th, at Fairfax Memorial Park in Fairfax, VA.

In Bill’s memory donations may be made to Regis High School, 55 E. 84th St., New York, NY 10028 or via regis.org/give.


Visitation: April 18, 2024 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm

Money and King Funeral Home
171 W. Maple Ave.
Vienna, VA 22180


Graveside Service: April 19, 2024 10:00 am - 11:00 am

Fairfax Memorial Park
4401 Burke Station Road
Fairfax, VA 22032


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The family greatly appreciates donations made to these charities in William J. Byrnes 's name.

Regis High School

55 E. 84th St.

New York,

New York



Memories Timeline


  1. Bill was a kind and good man who did a lot for the community. We both were fans of Gore Vidal and attended the same speech the late author gave in D.C. long ago. My condolences to Mr. Byrnes’ family.

  2. I enjoyed directing Bill in two productions for Sterling Playmakers, Much Ado About Nothing (Leonato), and It’s a wonderful Life (Mr. Potter). He was not only an excellent actor, but also a lovely person to work with. I am so sorry to hear of his passing.
    Kathy Bleutge

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