The life of San Francisco businessman Clint Reilly has been a remarkable journey. He has risen from a working class seminary student to become a leading real estate investor and CEO of his own commercial property management firm located in the heart of the Financial District. Along the way, he has been a social issues activist, and the head of a nationally recognized political campaign management firm.

Mr. Reilly, 53, has emerged as one of San Francisco's leading citizen activists. He helped pass initiatives to ensure public access to Treasure Island (Prop K, 1998) and to impose downtown growth control laws (Prop M, 1986). He also led the battle against the controversial San Francisco 49ers stadium-mall project, which passed by a handful of votes in an election marred by fraud and scandal.

Now, in an attempt to preserve media choice for San Francisco newspaper readers, Mr. Reilly has filed suit to block the proposed sale of the San Francisco Chronicle to the Hearst Corporation of New York.

Clint Reilly is owner and CEO of San Francisco's historic Merchants Exchange Building, at 465 California Street in the heart of downtown. This 1904 flagship design by Willis Polk was the tallest building on the West Coast when built, and was the preeminent survivor of the Great 1906 Earthquake and Fire. Today it is host to the Merchants Exchange Conference Center and home to leading West Coast law and Internet firms, as well as headquarters of Clinton Reilly Holdings.

Under Mr. Reilly's direction, the Merchants Exchange Building has flourished. It is now home to a diverse and prestigious number of firms representing the best of San Francisco's oldest and newest businesses. The historic Merchants Exchange Ballroom and Conference Center, newly decorated and renovated, hosts over 100 events a year, with many of the world's most prominent individuals passing through its doors.

Mr. Reilly's ownership of a San Francisco landmark is appropriate, as his ties to the city run deep. Reilly's grandparents were San Francisco natives who lived their entire lives in the Mission District, and Reilly's father (who has been attending the Chronicle/Examiner court trial) grew up in a small flat at the corner of 26th and Mission. Clint Reilly prides himself on his ability to give back to the city that has been home to five generations of Reilly's, now including Clint's daughter, Jill. He serves on the Board of Directors of Catholic Charities and supports many other charitable causes, including the Edgewood program for children and the Mission Learning Center.

In addition, Mr. Reilly owns the Little Fox Theatre, another building rich in San Francisco history, and an office building in Sacramento.

Before concentrating on real estate and business ventures, Mr. Reilly spent over 25 years as one of the nation's leading political consultants. He is credited with pioneering the political consulting industry in California in the early 1970s before the profession even had a name. His numerous political triumphs over the years include mayoral, congressional, and initiative campaigns at the federal, state and local levels. In 1999, in his first attempt as a candidate, he ran unsuccessfully for mayor of San Francisco.

Mr. Reilly, his wife, Janet, and their one-year-old daughter Jill live in San Francisco.