Conrad Hilton Net Worth, Biography, Business, Wife and Kids

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admin October 2, 2021
Updated 2021/10/02 at 12:26 PM
Conrad Hilton Net Worth
Conrad Hilton Net Worth

Conrad Hilton Net Worth    $1 Billion

Popular Name:Conrad Hilton
Real Name:Conrad Nicholson Hilton Sr.
Birth Date:December 25, 1887
Birth Place:
San Antonio, New Mexico Territory, United States
Age:Died on January 3, 1979 (aged 91)
Gender:Male
Nationality/Citizenship:American
Height:N/A
Weight:N/A
Sexuality:Straight
Marital Status:Married
Spouse(s):
Mary Adelaide Barron ​(m. 1925; div. 1934)​
Zsa Zsa Gabor ​(m. 1942; div. 1947)​
Mary Frances Kelly ​(m. 1976)
Children:4
Profession:Businessman, Investor, Entrepreneur, Hotelier, Philanthropist
Years active:N/A
Net Worth:$1 Billion
Last Updated:2022

 

Conrad Hilton was an American businessman and hotelier, who single-handedly founded the Hilton Hotel chain. The son of a hardworking father who managed a general shop and a devout mother, Hilton learned the value of work and worship from a young age and the principles that came with the attributes that lived with him all through his days. Although his initial desire was to work in the banking industry, he became a hotelier later on after seeing how dozens of visitors walked in and out of the hotel in which he was sitting. He subsequently bought the hotel and over a period of a year recovered his investment by optimizing the use of space while also providing additional benefits to the customers. Thereafter, he went on to purchase seven more hotels until he was almost reduced to bankruptcy by the Great Depression. However, he did not waver and persisted until the depression was over, and he moved on and continued to expand his business by adding more hotels to his chain. By the time he retired, his Hilton Hotel chain owned 188 hotels in thirty-eight cities within the United States alone and 54 other hotels overseas.

Early Life: Childhood, Education, Politics

Conrad Nicholson Hilton was born in San Antonio, New Mexico on December 25, 1887. His father was Augustus Halvorsen Hilton and his mother was named Mary Genevieve (née Laufersweiler).

While his father was an immigrant from Norway, his mother was an American citizen of German descent. He was the second of his parent’s eight children and clearly understood what his responsibilities were as one of the eldest in the family. Upon reaching the age of 21, he joined his father’s store on a profit-sharing basis but the lack of freedom left him frustrated. He soon began to look for other career opportunities and found himself doing politics.

In 1912 after the creation of the state of New Mexico, Hilton was elected as a Republican to its Legislature Assembly. He served in the assembly for two terms and returned to San Antonio to raise money to start a bank. When his country joined the First World War in 1917, he sold off his bank and join the war, serving in the Quartermaster Corps in France for two years until he was discharged in 1919.

He returned to San Antonio to take charge of his father’s businesses, following his father’s passing around that time. The business wasn’t doing well and as he had seen the world, Hilton didn’t want to remain in a small town like San Antonio. He started looking for some other alternative and moved to Texas where the oil business was booming following an old friend’s advice.

Professional Life: Business Career, Hotels, Investments

When Conrad Hilton got to Wichita in 1919, he tried to buy a bank but opted for the Mobley Hotel in Cisco, Texas after the bank seller increased the price at the last moment. His newly bought hotel had 40 rooms but he went on to build more rooms to cope with the demand. He also opened small shop windows in the hotel’s lobby, which kept all kinds of items ranging from newspapers to magazines to razors and almost anything his customers would want. This earned him additional revenue while also helping him to attract more guests. His hotel soon turned out to be a huge success and with the money, he made from there in a year’s period, he was able to buy two more hotels; the Melba Hotel and the Waldorf Hotel in Fort Worth and Dallas respectively. The two newly acquired hotels were in terrible condition when he got them but he invested in renovating them to the point that they looked so radiant.

Up next, he built his own hotel in 1924 and named it Dallas Hilton. Subsequently, he built the Abilene Hilton hotel in 1927, the Waco Hilton hotel in 1928, and the El Paso Hilton hotel in 1930. Unfortunately, the Great Depression set and had a negative effect on the hotel industry. Hilton almost fell into bankruptcy and was forced to give up most of its properties. He started working as a manager to cut costs in a combined hotel chain.  When the depression came to an end, the dedicated and determined fellow bounced back into his hotel business and bought back his old properties, while also building the Hotel Andaluz in Albuquerque, New Mexico, as his first hotel outside the state of Texas.

Hilton shifted its headquarters to Los Angeles in California and bought more hotels including Breakers and Sir Francis Drake. In the years that followed, he acquired Roosevelt Hotel in New York City and later bought Chicago’s Palmer House as well as Stevens Hotel (renamed Conrad Hilton after renovations).

All his hotels were operated independently so far. He formed Hilton Hotel Corporation in 1946 and listed the company under the New York Stock Exchange in 1947. In 1949, he secured Hotel Caribe Hilton in San Juan, Puerto Rico on a lease for two decades. This move birthed the Hilton International Company. The Statler Hotels which was his main competitor was subsequently acquired by him in 1954 for a record fee of $111 million.

Throughout the 1950s and 1960s, Hilton continued to purchase hotels both in the United States and overseas. Besides that, he also acquired an interest in several other enterprises, including American Crystal Sugar Company and Carte Blanche Credit Company.

In 1966, he gave up the day-to-day running of his company and named his son Barron the President, but continued to serve as board chairman until his passing almost 13 years later.

Books

Hilton is known for his book, ‘Be My Guest’ which was published in 1957. The book is loved by many and is still considered a “Bible” to all hoteliers.

Philanthropy

Conrad Hilton instituted the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation in the year 1944. His aim, with the establishment of this philanthropic organization, was to improve the lives of vulnerable and underprivileged people throughout the world. Before he died, Hilton bequeathed the bulk of his empire to this foundation.

Achievements: Awards & Honors

Outside his hotel chain, Conrad Hilton is renowned for his honors and decorations. He notably received honorary degrees from several institutions. Some of those institutions are the University of Detroit (1953), the University of Albuquerque (1975), Sophia University, Tokyo (1963), Barat College (1955), DePaul University (1954), and Adelphi College (1957).

Personal Life: Family, Wife, Children, Death

In 1925, Conrad Hilton tied the knot with his first wife Mary Adelaide Barron. They had three children; Eric Michael Hilton, Conrad Nicholson Hilton Jr., and William Barron Hilton. Later in 1934, when the couple couldn’t keep on with the troubles that came with their union, he granted her a divorce, going against his beliefs as a believer in the Roman Catholic Church.

In 1942, he married Hungarian movie star ZsaZsa Gabor in a civil ceremony. The marriage was in chaos from the start and ended in divorce in 1946 after the birth of their daughter Constance Francesca Hilton.

In 1976, Hilton got married for the third time. This marriage was with Mary Frances Kelly, and it happened in a church.

He was 91 years old when he died from natural causes in January 1979. His burial took place at the catholic cementer, Calvary Hill Cemetery, in Dallas, Texas.

American top-rated celebrities Paris Hilton and Nicky Hilton are Conrad’s great-granddaughters. Rick Hilton, the founder, and CEO of the Hilton & Hyland brokerage firm is his grandson.

Conrad Hilton Net Worth: Income Sources, Assets, Real Estate

The American businessman Conrad Hilton had a net worth of $1 billion before his death. His major source of income was his hotel chain which consisted of 188 hotels in the United States and a few others in other countries. He also earned some of his wealth by actively pursuing other business opportunities, such as the Carte Blanche Credit Company and his investment in the American Crystal Sugar Company.

Mr. Conrad Hilton left the sum of $500,000 to his two surviving siblings. He willed $100,000 to his daughter Francesca and gifted $10,000 to each of his nephews and nieces. He owned a Bel Air mansion which he bought in 1950 for $225,000 and lived in this home until his passing in 1979. The property was said to be worth $225 million in October 2019 when it was listed by its sellers, who bought it from Financier David Murdock, who previously bought the house in 1980 for $12.4 million (equal to $40 million in today’s dollars).

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