"Ports" died of esophageal cancer March 30, 2006.
He came to Princeton from the Taft School and entered the Woodrow Wilson School. A native of New Orleans, he epitomized the southern gentleman, a role he filled as a stalwart of Colonial Club.
Ports rowed on the freshman and lightweight crews, and in 1957, went to England with the crew that won the Henley Cup.
After Princeton he returned to New Orleans, graduating first in his class at Tulane Law School. His first law job was in the district attorney's office under Jim Garrison. He went on to specialize in maritime and insurance defense law. In 2005 he received the Distinguished Maritime Lawyer Award from the New Orleans Bar Association. An adjunct professor at Tulane for more than 20 years, he wrote a two-volume text for his course on maritime law.
Former roommates Dave Warren and Robbie Richards participated in his memorial service in New Orleans, at which his son, Will, delivered a eulogy, and his daughter, Keith '99, sang "Amazing Grace." Bill's ashes were scattered to join those of his parents at his beloved Sunshine Plantation.
In addition to his son and daughter, Bill is survived by his wife, Sylvia.