Paris Hilton Mourns Death of Her Beloved Grandfather Barron

Paris Hilton Mourns Death of Her Beloved Grandfather Barron

"He was a legend, a visionary, brilliant, handsome, kind and lived a life full of accomplishment and adventure", she said.

Mr. Hilton was co-chairman in 2007, when Blackstone Group acquired Hilton Hotels - by then the nation's No. 2 hotel operator - for $26 billion.

'Ever since I was a little girl I have looked up to him as a businessman.

In the late 1950s, he was approached by American Football League pioneers Lamar Hunt and Bud Adams about owning a franchise, and Hilton founded the Los Angeles Chargers in 1959. He moved with his father, Conrad N. Hilton, to Los Angeles in 1937 and started off his hospitality career as a teen by parking cars for hotel guests.

Barron Hilton, the hotelier and philanthropist who chaired the Hilton hotel chain, died on Thursday in Los Angeles of natural causes at the age of 91, it was announced Friday.

"On behalf of everyone at Hilton, I extend our deepest condolences to the Hilton family", said Christopher J. Nassetta, president/CEO, Hilton.

"Simply put, the modern National Football League would not be what it is today without the vision of Barron Hilton", Chargers owner Dean Spanos said in a statement.

After serving in the Navy and spending two decades as an entrepreneur, Barron joined the family biz as Hilton Hotels' vice president way back in 1954 and quickly rose through the ranks to become the chairman, president and CEO. "Barron Hilton was an incredible family man, business leader and philanthropist".

When Conrad Hilton died in 1979, he gave much of his fortune to his private foundation, which benefited Catholic nuns and other charities. He became well known for his innovative real estate transactions, including franchising and a bold move into the Las Vegas gaming market.

She added: I always wanted to make him proud'.

After retiring in 1996, he retained his role as chairman of the board, his hand-picked successor, Stephen F. Bollenbach, presided over a decade of mergers and acquisitions that made Hilton Hotels Corporation one of the largest and most successful companies in the industry. His family said he committed 97% of his wealth to the foundation's humanitarian work. His planned gift is projected to increase the foundation's endowment to $6.3 billion.

Hilton's wife of almost 60 years, Marilyn Hawley Hilton, died in 2004.

Hilton's wife, Marilyn, died in 2004 and he is survived by eight children, 15 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren, the foundation said.

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