Barron Hilton, son and successor to Conrad Hilton, passed away on September 19, 2019, at his home in Los Angeles at the age of 91.
He succeeded his father as chairman, president and ceo of Hilton Hotels Corporation in 1966 and oversaw the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation. He was also the founding owner of the Chargers of the American Football League, and helped forge the merger with the National Football League that created the Super Bowl.
“The Hilton family mourns the loss of a remarkable man,” says Steven Hilton, Barron’s son and chairman of the board at the Hilton Foundation. “My father was a loving husband to our mother, Marilyn, a wonderful role model to his eight children, a loyal and generous friend, visionary businessman, respected leader and a passionate sportsman. He lived a life of great adventure and exceptional accomplishment.”
As a teenager, he worked at the Town House in Los Angeles, parking cars for hotel guests. After joining the Navy at age 17 and serving at Pearl Harbor, Hilton embarked on a successful 20-year career as an entrepreneur. Based on his growing success with Vita-Pakt Citrus Products and McDonald Oil Co., his father invited him to join Hilton Hotels Corporation as a vice president in 1954, while allowing him to continue to manage his outside business interests. He would go on to found Air Finance Corp., one of the nation’s first aircraft leasing businesses, and Carte Blanche, a pioneering consumer credit card.
Like his father, he leaves 97% of his wealth to the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation. This planned gift is projected to increase the foundation’s endowment from $2.9 billion to $6.3 billion, and will make Barron Hilton the organization’s most significant donor.
Hilton is preceded in death by his wife of nearly 60 years, Marilyn Hawley Hilton. He is survived by his eight children, 15 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.
Photo: Courtesy of Hilton