Hilton on Venice Island in 2007
|Born||William Barron Hilton I
October 23, 1927
Dallas, Texas, USA
|Alma mater||University of Southern California|
|Occupation||business magnate, investor, socialite, and hotel heir|
|Net worth||US$2.5 billion (2010)|
|Spouse(s)||Marilyn June Hawley (m. 1947–2004)|
|Children||William Barron Hilton, Jr (born 1948)
Hawley Anne Hilton (born 1949)
Steven Michael Hilton (born 1950)
David Alan Hilton (born 1952)
Sharon Constance Hilton (born 1953)
Richard Howard Hilton (born 1955)
Daniel Kevin Hilton (born 1962)
Ronald Jeffrey Hilton (born 1963)
|Parents||Conrad Hilton (1887-1979)
Mary Adelaide Barron
William Barron Hilton I (born October 23, 1927) is an American business magnate, socialite, and hotel heir. He is the former co-chairman of the Hilton Hotels chain. He is one of the sons of Conrad Hilton (founder of Hilton Hotels).
Hilton was born in Dallas, Texas, the son of Mary Adelaide (née Barron) and Conrad Nicholson Hilton, founder of Hilton Hotels. Hilton grew up with three siblings: Conrad Nicholson Hilton, Jr., Eric Michael Hilton, and Constance Francesca Hilton. His father was of half Norwegian and half German descent, and his mother was from Kentucky.
He served in the Navy during World War II, as a photographer. Hilton became fascinated by aviation, and attended University of Southern California Aeronautical School at age nineteen, where he earned his twin-engine rating.
In 1954, Hilton was elected vice-president of Hilton Hotels, of which his father was president. The announcement was made on November 16, 1954, by Robert P. Williford, Executive Vice President. Barron also became president of the Carte Blanche credit card firm, was owner of an orange juice company, head of a business leasing jets and an investor in a Texas oil company.
In 1966, Hilton assumed the presidency of the Hilton Hotel chain.
Hilton family fortune
In 1979, Barron Hilton's father, Conrad Hilton, died leaving $500,000 USD each to his two surviving siblings and $10,000 USD to each of his nieces and nephews and his daughter Francesca. The bulk of his estate was left to the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, which he established in 1944.
Although Barron Hilton inherited Hilton Hotels Corporation, the company his father had created, and was in charge of as President, Chief Executive Officer, and Chairman of the Board of Directors at the time of his father's death, Barron contested his father's will. A settlement was reached: of the 13.5 million shares of company stock owned by Conrad Hilton that constituted the bulk of the Hilton family fortune, Barron Hilton would receive 4 million shares, the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation would receive 3.5 million shares, and the remaining 6 million shares would be placed in the W. Barron Hilton Charitable Remainder Unitrust, of which Barron is the executor. Upon Barron Hilton's death, the Unitrust assets will be transferred to the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation. Barron sits on the Board of Directors of the Foundation as Chairman and his son, Steven M. Hilton, is President and Chief Executive Officer.
On December 25, 2007, Hilton announced that, in addition to donating the funds found in the W. Barron Hilton Charitable Remainder Unitrust, upon his death he will follow his father's footsteps by leaving about 97% of his estate, estimated in 2007 at $2.3 billion, to the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation. Included was an immediate pledge of $1.2 billion, the proceeds of the sale of Hilton Hotels Corporation and Harrah's Entertainment Inc., which was placed in a Charitable remainder unitrust that will be donated to the Foundation upon Hilton's death at whatever value the trust is worth at that time. The remainder of the funds that constitute Hilton's pledge to donate 97% of his estate will come from his $1.1 billion in personal assets.
By leaving the majority of his estate to the Foundation, Barron is donating not only the fortune he has amassed on his own as well as the proceeds of the sale of the company that created the Hilton family fortune, Hilton Hotels Corporation; but he is also returning the Hilton family fortune amassed by his father, Conrad, to the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, where it would have gone over 30 years ago had Barron not contested his father's will. Barron said he is proud to follow his father's example, and his son Steven expressed a similar sentiment.
The remaining 3% of his estate will be distributed to his heirs. Jerry Oppenheimer, who profiled the Hilton family in House of Hilton (2006), has said Barron Hilton is embarrassed by his granddaughter Paris Hilton's behavior and believes it has sullied the family name.
In 1947, Barron Hilton married Marilyn June Hawley; they remained married until she died in 2004. They had eight children: William Barron Hilton, Jr., Hawley Anne Hilton, Steven Michael Hilton, David Alan Hilton, Sharon Constance Hilton, Richard Howard Hilton, Daniel Kevin Hilton, and Ronald Jeffrey Hilton. Their oldest, William Barron Hilton, Jr., was born in 1948 and their youngest, Ronald Jeffrey Hilton, was born in 1963. Barron Hilton is the grandfather of Paris Hilton and Nicky Hilton; both of them are Richard Hilton's daughters.
Barron Hilton's principal residence in Holmby Hills was originally designed in the 1930s for Jay Paley, by architect Paul Williams. It was used as the 'Colby mansion' in exterior scenes for "The Colbys" television series.
Hilton also has a house on Venice Island in the Sacramento – San Joaquin River Delta near Stockton in Northern California. Every year he puts on a large fireworks display, attracting thousands of boaters to watch it.
Barron Hilton is the original owner of the NFL San Diego Chargers
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- "Barron Hilton". Gale Encyclopedia of Biography. Answers.com. Archived from the original on 26 February 2011. Retrieved April 3, 2011.
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- "Jay Paley Residence", Paul Revere Williams Project Gallery, 2010