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John grew up in Ossining, New York in 1942, within sight of Sing Sing Prison. After graduating from Hamilton College where he captained the tennis team, John attended Fordham Law School, graduating in 1966 with a J.D. degree.

Upon admission to the New York State Bar while serving as a Private in the U.S. Army, John was asked to join the prestigious law firm of the Staff Judge Advocate U.S. Army. After a tour in Korea, Captain Reilly settled in as the Real Estate Officer for Oakland Army Base. Before discharge in 1971, John was admitted to the California Bar.

Following a half-year ski adventure through Europe, John relocated to Honolulu where he became a member of the Hawai
ʻi Bar and worked as in-house counsel for two real estate developers. It was at this time that John began his passion for real estate education, commencing with pre-license courses for real estate salespeople and brokers. In addition to conducting numerous seminars to real estate licensees, escrow officers, and attorneys, John was Adjunct Professor of Real Estate Law at the University of Hawaiʻi Richardson School of Law for ten years.

John is a prolific writer of real estate materials, including ten books. His national best seller, The Language of Real Estate, 5th Edition, Dearborn Publishing, has sold over 125,000 copies. John is currently involved with developing Internet Solutions for real estate agents through the InternetCrusade, producers of the National Association of REALTORS® e-PRO Technology Certification Program.

Throughout his career in law and real estate education, John has maintained a private practice specializing in the preparation of real estate conveyance documents for escrow companies and brokers. A recognized expert in Hawai
ʻi conveyancing practice, John was one of the original authors of the Hawaiʻi Real Estate Conveyance Manual published by the Hawaiʻi Institute for Continuing Legal Education.

John is Vice President for Publishing for the Real Estate Electronic Publishing Co. and the Internet Crusade Web site. He is a member of the Bars of the State of California and Hawaiʻi. He is a 30-year member of the Hawaiʻi Association of REALTORS® and past chairman of its Standard Forms Committee. John was the 1988 President of the National Real Estate Educators Association, a recipient of the National Educator of the Year Award, and holder of their Distinguished Real Estate Instructor (DREI) designation.

John is married with three children. He has survived being a coach for girls and boys' soccer teams, as well as Little League baseball. John has been a Trustee for the Le Jardin Academy for a number of years. He enjoys jogging and plays golf to a five handicap.