“Today the world of hospitality mourns for one of the greats. Barron Hilton was an incredible family man, business leader and philanthropist. From his leadership of our company for more than three decades, to the transformative work he led with the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation for many years, Barron was a man unlike any other,” Hilton president and CEO Christopher J. Nassetta said in a statement. “I always found inspiration in how he saw the tremendous potential of hospitality to change the world for the better – and in the unique and meaningful ways he sought to make that happen.
Paris Hilton, Barron Hilton’s granddaughter, also reflected on his death, writing, “I am deeply saddened by the loss of my grandfather Barron Hilton. He was a Legend, a visionary, brilliant, handsome, kind and lived a life full of accomplishment and adventure. Ever since I was a little girl I have looked up to him as a businessman.”
Hilton first assumed presidency of the Hilton Hotels corporation in 1966, succeeding his father and helping to expand the hotel business to the empire it is today. Hilton retired 30 years later, although he remained a chairman of the board for another decade until the company’s hotel and gaming operations were purchased by private equity firms in 2006 and 2007.
Prior to his time with the hotel corporation, Hilton served in the navy and helped found the Chargers, a professional football team. While Hilton was president of the club, the team won five divisional titles and one American Football League championship.
Hilton is survived by his eight children, 15 grandchildren, four great-grandchildren.