Bill Marriott

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Bill Marriott
Born John Willard Marriott Jr.
(1932-03-25) March 25, 1932 (age 85)
Washington, D.C.
Occupation Executive Chairman and Chairman of the Board of Marriott International
Net worth Increase $2.8 billion
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Donna Garff
Children 4
Website Marriott International

John Willard "Bill" Marriott Jr. (born March 25, 1932) is an American businessman who is the Executive Chairman and Chairman of the Board of Marriott International.


Marriott was born in Washington, D.C., the son of Alice and J. Willard Marriott, the founder of Marriott International. He attended St. Albans School in Washington, DC, and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in finance from the University of Utah, where he became a member of the Sigma Chi Fraternity. He served on an aircraft carrier as an officer in the United States Navy Supply Corps.[1] He is also an Eagle Scout and recipient of the Distinguished Eagle Scout Award.[2]


Marriott has described how he learned a lifelong management lesson from an offhand remark made by President Dwight D. Eisenhower when he and his wife, Mamie, were guests at the house of Marriott's father in 1954. When Eisenhower was given the option to either go outside and shoot quail in the cold or stand by the fire, he turned to 22-year-old Bill Marriott and simply asked, "What do you think we should do?" Says Marriott, "So I tried to adopt that style of management as I progressed in life by asking my people, 'What do you think?'...The four most important words in the English language are, 'What do you think?'" [1]

Marriott joined the Marriott Corporation in 1956, was elected Executive Vice President and member of the Board of Directors in January 1964 and president of the company in November 1964, Chief Executive Officer in 1972, and Chairman of the Board in 1985. During his tenure at Marriott, Bill introduced the practice of Revenue Management to the hotel industry.[3]

Marriott is actively involved in various boards and councils including, the U.S. Travel and Tourism Promotional Advisory Board, the executive committee of the World Travel and Tourism Council, the National Business Council, the board of trustees of the National Urban League, a director of the National Geographic Society, and a director of the Naval Academy Endowment Trust. He serves as chairman of the President's Export Council, a group that advises the President on matters relating to export trade, and serves as chairman of the Leadership Council of the Laura Bush Foundation for America's Libraries.

On December 13, 2011, Marriott announced that he would assume the role of Executive Chairman of the company and relinquish the role of Chief Executive Officer, effective March 31, 2012, to Arne Sorenson.[4]


On May 4, 2006, Marriott received an honorary doctorate of humanities from Weber State University during the university's 127th commencement. He also delivered the commencement address during those proceedings.

Marriott received the Foreign Language Advocacy Award in 2010 from the Northeast Conference on the Teaching of Foreign Languages in recognition of programs that provided language instruction to both non-English speaking and English speaking employees of Marriott Corporation and of training opportunities provided to young people entering the hospitality industry around the globe.[5]


He is an active member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church). In an episode of 60 Minutes aired on April 7, 1996, Marriott was interviewed regarding his faith by Mike Wallace. The episode also included interviews with football star Steve Young and church leader Gordon B. Hinckley.[6] In 1997 Marriott was called by the church to be an Area Authority Seventy and member of the Fifth Quorum of Seventy.[7] This was split in 2004 and Marriott joined the newly created Sixth Quorum of the Seventy, serving until his release on October 1, 2011.[8][9][10]

Personal life[edit]

Marriott has been married to his wife, Donna Garff, for over 50 years and they have four children, fifteen grandchildren, and thirteen great-grandchildren.[11]

Since 1978, the Marriotts have been supporters of the annual Festival of Lights on the grounds of the LDS Church's Washington D.C. Temple.[12]


  1. ^ a b Bryant, Adam (May 26, 2013). "Corner Office: J.W. Marriott Jr". The New York Times. Retrieved May 26, 2013. 
  2. ^ "Distinguished Eagle Scouts" (PDF). Retrieved 2010-11-04. 
  3. ^ Cross, Robert G. (1997). Revenue Management: Hard-core Tactics for Market Domination. Broadway Books. ISBN 9780553067347. Retrieved January 15, 2014. 
  4. ^ Michael S. Rosenwald (December 13, 2011). "Marriott CEO J.W. Marriott Jr. to step down". Washington Post. 
  5. ^ "The James W. Dodge Foreign Language Advocate Award". Northeast Conference on the Teaching of Foreign Languages. Archived from the original on August 21, 2014. Retrieved August 28, 2014. 
  6. ^ "60 Minutes". CBS News. 1996-04-07.  [full citation needed]
  7. ^ "Fifth Quorum of the Seventy". Church News. April 12, 1997. Retrieved 2011-02-02. 
  8. ^ "First Presidency Announces Creation of the Sixth Quorum of the Seventy". Ensign: 74. July 2004. Retrieved 2011-02-02. 
  9. ^ Page Johnson (December 11, 2010). "Festival of lights at Washington D.C. Temple". Church News. Retrieved 2011-02-02. 
  10. ^ Releases Announced for Church Leaders
  11. ^ "Meet Our Founders" [1]. Retrieved 2015-04-21
  12. ^ D.C. Temple Lights

External links[edit]