Walter Shorenstein | Real estate magnate, 95

Posted: June 28, 2010

Real estate magnate Walter Shorenstein, 95, an adviser to U.S. presidents, whose company controlled about 30 million square feet of commercial real estate, died Thursday at his San Francisco home, said Andrew Neilly, a spokesman for the Shorenstein Co.

The entrepreneur was a committed and influential Democrat and San Franciscan, who headed up the effort to keep the Giants baseball team from moving to Florida in 1993.

His was a classic up-by-the-bootstraps story: He dropped out of the University of Pennsylvania, served in the Army Air Corps during World War II, then moved to San Francisco with little money and a pregnant wife.

In 1946, he joined a commercial real estate firm. By 1960, he had bought out the company and given it his name. The firm eventually became the largest owner of commercial office buildings in San Francisco.

A regular contributor to the Democratic Party, Mr. Shorenstein was tapped as an adviser in several capacities, first by President Lyndon B. Johnson in 1967, then during President Jimmy Carter's administration, and finally by President Bill Clinton, who asked him to serve on the board of directors of the Corporation for National Service, and on the U.S. Commerce Department Industry Policy Advisory Committee.

He is survived by his daughter, Broadway producer Carole Shorenstein Hays, and his son, Douglas Shorenstein, who now heads the Shorenstein Co. - AP

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