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30 Little Known Facts About Barron Hilton You Probably Didn't Know

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Barron Hilton, the retired chairman, president and chief executive officer of Hilton Hotels Corporation, was one of the first in the hotel industry to use management leaseback deals. Here are some important facts about the American business magnate:

  1.  In the year 2010, he was honored by the Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum, with the christening of the Barron Hilton Pioneers of Flight Gallery.
  2.  He was the main figure in the introduction of two innovations in casinos, which is now a standard feature everywhere. The first was the installation of video cameras, instead of the "eye in the sky," while the second was the introduction of progressive Pot o' Gold slot machines.
  3.  He was inducted into the International Air & Space Hall of Fame at the San Diego Air & Space Museum in the year 2012, and was also hailed as the "patron saint of sport aviation."
  4.  He was the recipient of the prestigious FAI Gold Air Medal from the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale in the year 2009.
  5.  William Barron Hilton was born on October 23, 1927 to Conrad Nicholson Hilton and Mary Adelaide in Dallas Texas,
  6.  His father, a half Norwegian and half German descent, was the founder of Hilton Hotels, while his mother was from Kentucky.
  7.  He grew up with his three siblings - Conrad Nicholson Hilton, Jr., Eric Michael Hilton, and Constance Francesca Hilton.
  8.  He also has a passion for photography and even served as a photographer, in the Navy, during the Second World War.
  9.  He always had a fascination to aviation, and had learned to fly just at the age of 17. He even went to University of Southern California Aeronautical School, where he earned his twin-engine rating at age 19.
  10.  Before joining Hilton business, he worked for a few small entrepreneurial ventures, in an effort to hone his entrepreneurial skills. He co-founded MacDonald Oil Company and Air Finance Corporation.
  11.  Barron was elected vice president of Hilton Hotels in the year 1954, when he created the Carte Blanche credit card as a service to the company's customers.
  12.  He was offered the Los Angeles franchise in the new American Football League, which he named as Chargers, by the sportsman Lamar Hunt in the year 1959.
  13.  In the year 1965, he served as AFL president, a position in which he helped forge the merger between the AFL and the NFL that created the Super Bowl.
  14.  He was asked to succeed his father as president and chief executive officer of the Hilton Hotels Corporation, by the board of directors, after quitting his football responsibilities in the year 1966.
  15.  Following this, he sold a majority of his shares, which he had bought for a mere 25 thousand dollars, for a whopping 10 million dollars.
  16.  It was under his realm that Hilton Hotels became the first company listed on the New York Stock Exchange to venture into the gaming market, with the purchase of International and the Flamingo from financier Kirk Kerkorian in Las Vegas.
  17.  He is said to have completed the purchase of Waldorf-Astoria, a luxury hotel, which his father initiated around 28 years earlier. He reportedly bought the hotel for just $35 million in the year 1977.
  18.  He, as the CEO, expanded the franchise domestically, with more and more acquisitions and mergers in the emerging markets, while maintaining a steady income flow from his casino business in Las Vegas.
  19.  He has seen first-hand, how the business struggled under his father’s presidency, during the Great Depression, and took more precautionary measures for the risky seasons and had very well planned to curb losses.
  20.  Barron announced that he will follow in his father's footsteps and give away about 97 percent of his estate, estimated to be $2.3 billion to the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation on December 25, 2007.
  21.  He made his trusted confident, Donald H. Hubbs, a lawyer and certified public accountant, as the president of the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, when his father died.
  22.  He had his son Steven M. Hilton, succeeded Hubbs as president in 1998, who become CEO on Hubbs' retirement in 2005 and chairman in 2012.
  23.  He presided over the inaugural award ceremony for the Conrad N. Hilton Humanitarian Prize, presented to a nonprofit organization for their exemplary and extraordinary contributions, in the year 1996.
  24.  In the 1990s, he along with the Earthwinds Hilton and Global Hilton campaigns backed the first attempts to capture one of the last great milestones in aviation, flying non-stop around the world in a balloon.
  25.  Barron hosted the Barron Hilton Cup, a unique glider competition, from the year 1980 till 2009, in which pilots flew the longest triangular flights in six regions of the world.
  26.  He married Marilyn June Hawley in the year 1947, and has eight children - William Barron Hilton, Jr., Hawley Anne Hilton, Stephen Michael Hilton, David Alan Hilton, Sharon Constance Hilton, Richard Howard Hilton, Daniel Kevin Hilton, and Ronald Jeffrey Hilton. His wife died in the year 2004.
  27.  His has fifteen grandchildren, including Paris Hilton, an American media personality, and Nicky Hilton Rothschild, an American businesswoman, both of them are Richard Hilton's daughters.
  28.  He resides in Holmby Hills, originally designed in the 1930s for Jay Paley, by the architect Paul Williams. The residence was used as the "Colby mansion" in the exterior scenes for "The Colbys" television series.
  29.  Barron is a member of a duck club on Venice Island in the Sacramento – San Joaquin River Delta near Stockton in Northern California, where he reportedly puts on a large Fourth of July fireworks display.
  30.  In the mid 1960s, he and his friends purchased the Flying-M Ranch in Lyon County, Nevada. In the year 1972, he bought them all out.
  31.  William Barron Hilton Net Worth: $2.5 Billion

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