Morton in 2011
August 7, 1947 |
|Education||B.S.B.A. University of Denver|
|Known for||co-founder of the Hard Rock Café|
|Spouse(s)||Paulene Stone (divorced)
Tarlton Pauley (divorced)
Early life and education
Morton is the son of Arnie Morton, founder of the Morton's Steakhouse chain, and his first wife. In 1969, he graduated from the University of Denver with a B.S.B.A. in restaurant and hotel management. He was a member of the Phi Sigma Delta fraternity.
Morton's first Hard Rock Cafe opened near Hyde Park Corner in London, England. The chain began global expansion in 1982 when the two agreed to develop their own cafes across the world. Morton (Hard Rock America) opened Hard Rocks in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, and Houston, Las Vegas; San Diego, La Jolla, and Newport Beach, California; Sydney and Melbourne, Australia; Honolulu and Maui, Hawaii; among many others. In 1995, The Rank Organisation (now The Rank Group) acquired the cafes owned by Morton for $410 million, but Morton retained the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada.
In May 2006, Morton sold the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas to New York-based Morgans Hotel Group for $770 million. The sale included the rights to the Hard Rock Hotel brand West of the Mississippi River which includes Texas, California, Australia and Vancouver, British Columbia. W. Edward Scheetz, a Morgans’ executive, described the 11-story, 670-room Hard Rock Hotel as a "trophy property" that will never be replicated in Las Vegas because of land values. The Hard Rock pool alone, ranked #1 of the top 10 hotel pools by Travel Channel, occupies land valued at $50 million.
Morton later founded and remains the owner one of Los Angeles’ quintessential dining power spots — Morton’s (not to be confused with Morton's of Chicago). For almost two decades, the ability to get a table at The Ivy or Morton's has defined the level of importance and clout a person possesses in Hollywood. The restaurant was also the subject of Julia Phillips' 1991 book, You'll Never Eat Lunch in This Town Again.
Honors, awards, positions
Morton is a member of the Board of Trustees for the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (MOCA) and sits on the board of trustees for the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). After Morton made a donation to UCLA, the building at 200 UCLA Medical Plaza was renamed the Peter Morton Medical Building.
His first wife was British model Paulene Stone, the former wife of Laurence Harvey. They had one son, Harry Morton, the founder of Pink Taco restaurants and former boyfriend of actress Lindsay Lohan. His former stepdaughter with Stone was Domino Harvey, the subject of the October 2005 film Domino starring Keira Knightley and directed by Tony Scott. In 1990, he married Tarlton Pauley; they divorced in 1997. They had two children.
He is the godfather of film producer Matthew Vaughn and introduced him to a Hard Rock Cafe tour. It was through Peter that Matthew was introduced to Guy Ritchie and some well known aristocrats in the London area.
- People: "Happy Days Are Here Again as Peter Morton Opens a Hot Spot That Makes Hollywood Hanker for the '50s" By Wanda McDaniel February 21, 2013
- University of Denver Alumni Relations Bulletin: "Daniels Lunch and Learn with Peter Morton" March 1, 2013
- "The Museum of Contemporary Art Board of Trustees". Retrieved June 21, 2011.
- "About NRDC: Board of Trustees". Retrieved June 21, 2011.
- Moster, Roxanne (November 20, 2003). "Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Owner Peter Morton Makes Significant Donation; 200 UCLA Medical Plaza Renamed the Peter Morton Medical Building". UCLA Newsroom (University of California at Los Angeles). Retrieved June 21, 2011.
- The Guardian: "The man who feeds Hollywood" March 8, 2003
- Los Angeles Times: "Hard Rock founder is sued by ex-wife" by Kim Christensen January 10, 2007