Conrad N.

Hilton
Innkeeper Extraordinary Statesman and Philanthropist
1887 - 1979

Cathleen D. Baird, Director & Archivist
Hospitality Industry Archives
Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management Houston, Texas
Updated April 2, 2004 with information from additional primary and secondary resources.

© Copyrighted by Cathleen D. Baird 2004

INTRODUCTION
As a man of vision, Conrad Nicholson Hilton built the largest hotel real estate empire of his time — Hilton Hotels Corporation — and served as its chairman until his death on January 3, 19791. His commitment to world peace and economic stability was combined with a vigorous program to develop a global-system of world-class hotels. He established standards of quality for the entire hospitality industry in the fields of hotel management and operations. Mr. Hilton was one of seven children born to a Norwegian immigrant father and a GermanAmerican mother in the small town of San Antonio, New Mexico on Christmas Day, 1887. Hilton was educated at St. Michael’s College, Santa Fe, New Mexico; the New Mexico Military Institute; and the New Mexico School of Mines. He leaned about active responsibility for local and state communities from his father, August Holver Hilton. August was a delegate to the first New Mexico territorial legislature, and Conrad served a term in the first New Mexico state legislature before enlisting as a second lieutenant in World War I. When Conrad Hilton visited the small Texas town of Cisco in June 1919, he was quick to see the business potential from the Eastland and Ranger oil fields, and from railroad travelers. He had arrived in Cisco with the intention to buy a local bank, but he bought the Mobley Hotel instead, believing he could utilize some of the hotelkeeping experience he learned with his family’s hotel operation in New Mexico. In spite of the 1920 depression that saw the failure of 11 of that region's 13 banks, Hilton operated the Mobley at a profit with rooms frequently rented in eight-hour shifts in order to provide oil field workers with much needed places to sleep. Moreover, he purchased a second hotel in Fort Worth, the Melba, in October 1919, and in 1920, two more small Texas hotels. By the end of 1923, Conrad Hilton had 530 hotel rooms in Texas and he began to dream about building the first hotel to carry the Hilton name. The equity and the profits from those first four ‘flop houses2’ enabled Hilton to construct the first hotel that carried his name, the Dallas Hilton. This hotel opened August 2, 1925 and was so successful that he received many invitations to build or manage hotels all over North Texas. When the stock market crash occurred in 1929, eighty-one percent of the nation’s hotels fell into bankruptcy. Hilton was only able to retain five of his eight Texas hotels. However, during this phase of his career, he learned to operate with economy — one of the keys to his future success. During the worst years of the Depression, Hilton was able to make a financial agreement with the National Hotels Corporation, owned by the Moody family of Galveston, Texas. According to the agreement, Hilton directed 19 hotels as president of Hilton Hotels, Inc. and was the general manager of the Moody’s National Hotels Corporation. We know a few details about Hilton’s ownership/management partnership with W. L. Moody and his son Shearn Moody from Conrad Hilton’s biography Be My Guest and from the Official Hotel Red
1

Conrad Hilton died from pneumonia in St. John’s Hospital, in Santa Monica, California, following a three-day hospitalization. At that time, in HHC operated $300 million worth of hotels in the US and abroad. Hilton owned 30 percent of HHC stock. He was survived by his third wife; two sons, Barron and Eric Hilton, a daughter, Francesca and his grandchildren. 2 Newspapers of the day described the small transient hotels as “flop houses”. Dallas Morning News, August 2, 1925.
© All copyrights reserved by Cathleen Baird ~ 2002

Conrad N. Hilton College Library and Archives
Cathleen Baird, Director and Archivist

page 2

Book and Directory for the years 1931 through 1934. The Moodys controlled the American Life Insurance company of Galveston as well as ownership of the Galveston baseball team, banks, hotels and newspapers. Conrad Hilton received a $300,000 loan from the Moodys by putting up Hilton Hotels, Inc. stock as security. In December 1931, the Moodys foreclosed on the loan and took over the Hilton hotels. In return, the Moodys offered Hilton the management of his own hotels along with management of their hotels. The Hilton and Moody hotels were merged into the National Hotel Company with Conrad Hilton holding one-third ownership with a salary of $18,000 per year. The relationship, a very stormy one according to Be My Guest, ended in 1934. The Moodys returned to Conrad Hilton the ownership of the Hilton Hotels in Lubbock, Dallas and Plainview along with a loan of $95,000. With that money, Hilton was able to pay off some other loans, and the five hotels began showing a healthy profit. Shortly thereafter, Hilton re-acquired the El Paso Hilton and a hotel in Longview (Texas) that he renamed the Longview Hilton. In a Red Book’s 1933 edition print ad3 “Hilton Operated Hotels from Alabama to California,” eight hotels were advertised The ad lists Hilton-named hotels in Dallas, Waco, Marlin, Abilene, San Angelo, Lubbock, Plainview, El Paso and Los Angeles, California.4 The print advertisements provide the only documentation we have for a Hilton hotel in Los Angeles Hilton5. The 350-room Los Angeles Hilton hotel was managed by Conrad Hilton’s business partner, William R. Irwin as President and by E. S. Morey as manager. Rooms rented for $2.50 to $6.00 per night. This hotel has returned to the Hilton family as the Hilton Checkers Hotel! By 1939, Hilton’s Texas hotel debts were paid in full and he began expanding his company outside the state with the purchase of hotel properties in San Francisco and Long Beach, California.

Figure 1. Conrad Hilton is shown here at his desk in his Los Angeles office sometime in the early 1940s. Photo from the Conrad N. Hilton Collection, Hospitality Industry Archives, University of Houston.

On the more personal side, Conrad Hilton did not consider marriage until 1925, when at the age of 38 he married Mary Barron — just one month following the grand opening celebration for the Dallas Hilton hotel. They had three children, Conrad N., Jr., William Barron and Eric Michael. However, the couple divorced in 1934, a casualty of the Depression, according to Conrad Hilton. A fourth child, Francesca, was born during his second marriage, to Zsa Zsa Gabor. On Christmas Day, 1977, also his
1933 Official Hotel Red Book and Directory, p. 679 Other Texas hotels [operated by Hilton for National Hotels Corporation] were located in Galveston, Big Spring, Brownwood, Cisco, Ranger, Kilgore, Beaumont, Donna, and Austin. There were no Hilton print ads for Hilton’s Texas hotels in the 1934 issue of Official Hotel Red Book and Directory. The 1935 Official Hotel Red Book and Directory contains no Hilton print ads. However the 1936 edition listed the Hilton-named hotels in Dallas, El Paso, Abilene, Lubbock, Plainview, and Longview. The ad included the corporate “Minimax” logo and the slogan that “Hilton guests pay minimum rates for maximum service.” An additional slogan reads “Hilton Hotels are as refreshing as the breath of pine.” 5 1933 Red Book, on page 42.
4
3

Conrad N. Hilton College Library and Archives
Cathleen Baird, Director and Archivist

page 3

89th birthday, Mr. Hilton married Mary Frances Kelly, whom he had known since the El Paso Hilton opening in 1930.6

Figure 2. Hilton's Private "Statesmanship" of "World Peace through International Trade and Travel” facilitated negotiations for hotels in key cities around the world. Photo from the Conrad N. Hilton Collection, Hospitality 7 Industry Archives, University of Houston.

Conrad Hilton acquired his fame as the hotelman who owned prestigious landmark hotels — the Steven’s (at one time the largest hotel in the world, now called the Chicago Hilton and Towers) and the Palmer House in Chicago; the Plaza and Waldorf-Astoria in New York; the Townhouse in Beverly Hills; the Mayflower in Washington, DC, and the entire chain of Statler Hotels.8 But Hilton earned success by purchasing these hotels when they were unprofitable, and then turned each one into an exceptionally profitable operation. Consequently, he became a popular businessman or "icon" for his time, similar today to Microsoft’s Bill Gates. According to various 1950s hotel trade publications, Hilton set financial management standards for controlling the cost of hotel operations with a "magic formula." He required his department heads to calculate departmental costs, and to evaluate the actual cost at the month's end. For the first time, hotel management could predict the amount of staff and provisions required to meet corporate operational standards and guest expectations, and still maintain maximum gross operating profits. Individual hotel departments became responsible for drastically reducing costs and increasing profits in an unprecedented proportion — without reducing guest services. The Hilton landmark hotels provide examples: Hilton purchased the luxurious Plaza Hotel in 1943 and in spite of war-time restrictions, his staff completed important decorative and mechanical renovations that increased the hotel's operational and revenue producing efficiency. The company called this management tactic "mining for gold."9 The Plaza increased its overall profits by eight percent, which enabled the hotel to spend $500,000 each year for improving facilities. According to Frank Wangeman, onetime Plaza general manager, a new salad bar lunch attracted the young professionals working in the neighborhood as well as the elderly ladies residing in the hotel. This augmented dining room revenue,
Conrad Hilton died in January 1979. Many magazine articles linked hotel expansion and Hilton's philosophy of world peace. Lawrence M. Hughes referred to this as statesmanship in the article "Hilton's Private 'Statesmanship' Shapes World-Wide Hotel Empire." Sales Management, October 19, 1956. p. 31 8 When Conrad Hilton bought the Statler Hotel chain for $111 million, it was recognized as the largest transfer of real estate in America since the Louisiana Purchase in 1803. 9 See the Sperl “Red Ellison Oral History Interview for more “Digging for Gold” details.
7 6

Conrad N. Hilton College Library and Archives
Cathleen Baird, Director and Archivist

page 4

and later attracted more transient guests to stay at the hotel.10 The first year Hilton managed the WaldorfAstoria, the hotel did $1.5 million more business with ninety-five fewer employees. The Mayflower Hotel improved its profit on food service from seven percent to nineteen percent. Between 1948 and 1950, Hilton Hotel profits increased from eighteen percent to twenty-six percent while at the same time, payroll decreased four and one-half percent and other expenses decreased three percent. The efficient Hilton "magic formula" management system kept the hotels profitable even with low occupancy.11 Not only was the Waldorf-Astoria a successful hotel operation, it also provided offices and accommodations for the American delegation to the United Nations. Many foreign ambassadors, American political leaders and international entertainers maintained apartments at this hotel — and Hilton was considered a friend by many of these important people. Hilton took an active role in international affairs behind-the-scenes by hosting social events. He attended the Republican National Convention in support of his friend Dwight D. Eisenhower's nomination for president and later acted as a temporary ambassador for President Eisenhower. Hilton played a leadership role in support of an economic means and a philosophical approach to achieving world peace, along with his friends Evangelist Billy Graham and the Reverend Norman Vincent Peale. Consequently, he became not only a business leader but also a statesman with access to world leaders.12 The Mayflower Hotel frequently hosted high-level government meetings and social affairs, as did the other landmark Hilton properties in Washington DC, the Washington and the Capital Hilton Hotels. One measure of Conrad Hilton's fame could be the fact that his picture frequently appeared on the covers of national news magazines — Time, Newsweek, and Life. Hilton even appeared as a featured guest on a number of television programs, including Edward R. Murrow's Person to Person, the Ed Sullivan Show, and Ralph Edward's This is Your Life. Hilton, accompanied by his son, Conrad Hilton, Jr., Joseph P. Binns, vice president of Hilton Hotels, and brother Captain Carl Hilton, traveled to Europe shortly after the end of World War II to seek possibilities for cooperative business between European hotels and important American hotels in the eastern American gateway cities of New York, Boston, and Washington, DC. Initially, Hilton expected to implement a program only for the coordination of sales promotion and reservation services between European and American hotels.13 Meanwhile, the need for good hotels continued to increase and Conrad Hilton established a new hotel company in May 1948 — against the advice of his conservative-minded Hilton Hotels Corporation Board of Directors. They doubted that Hilton hotels outside the continental borders of the United States could be successful. Conrad Hilton was firmly convinced, however, that the new hotel company would expand internationally and thereby encourage both industrial growth and tourism. The new company expected to "particularly focus first on commercial and travel centers of the Western Hemisphere;" and second, to meet the need for first-class hotel facilities in Europe.14 Hilton Hotel's corporate motto of "World Peace through International Trade and Travel" was also Conrad Hilton's personal philosophy. He believed that his hotels could make a contribution to the economy of friendly nations and stimulate tourist spending. At the same time, the hotel structure would provide a permanent reminder of all that America had done to help that country after the end of World War II. His advocacy of world peace through international trade and travel became the philosophical commitment he publicly supported in a tri-level fight against Communism (other commitments were military alliances and political agreements). Hilton was not the first to articulate the manner in which the neutral environment of a good hotel could foster international friendships. Samuel Shepheard, Hilton's predecessor in Cairo's Innkeeping circles one hundred years before the opening of the Nile Hilton Hotel, believed "there is something truly gratifying to see men of so many different nations [come together] in a

Frank G. Wangeman, an oral history interview by author at the Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management, October 1993. 11 Curt Strand. "How to Cut Costs and Up Your Profits." Hotel Management. May 1951. pp. 41-43. This information taken from the Conrad N. Hilton Collection, Hilton International Series, Hospitality Industry Archives, University of Houston. . [All further quotations from the Conrad Hilton Collection will be referred to as CNH Collection, Hospitality Industry Archives.] 12 Conrad N. Hilton was one of several American business leaders that lobbied the U. S. Senate in support of ratification of the Bretton Woods Treaty, which established both the World Bank & the International Monetary Fund. Conrad Hilton Collection, Hospitality Industry Archives. 13 ------. "C.N. Hilton Sees Important Possibilities for U.S.-European Cooperative Hotel Business," The Hotel Monthly, vol. 56, no. 6, September 1948, p. 55. 14 -----. "Hilton Hotels Form Subsidiary Group to Operate Outside U.S.A." Hotel Gazette, May 29, 1948. From the Hilton International scrapbook in the Conrad Hilton Collection, Hospitality Industry Archives.

10

Conrad N. Hilton College Library and Archives
Cathleen Baird, Director and Archivist

page 5

land foreign to all, enjoying wines and other beverages . . . which seems to wash away all national prejudices and create that feeling amongst them which makes all men seem as brothers."15 The new company, named Hilton Hotels International [HI], built its first hotel outside of the continental US in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The new Caribe Hilton was meant to improve the island's economy through the encouragement of new enterprise. Constructed at the cost of $5,500,000, the luxurious 300-room Caribe Hilton hotel and resort operation had "the latest in comforts and convenience for the traveler, and the newest ideas in modern, efficient operation for the hotel man."16 The hotel opened with a great deal of international publicity on December 9, 1949. In fact, the hotel's unique new design led to the publication of a twelve-page article in the February 1950 Hotel Monthly magazine, complete with floor plans. The hotel became a financial success within the first six months and recovered the Puerto Rican government's investment of nearly $9 million in less than three years.17 Subsequent profits provided financing to further develop tourism and commerce in Puerto Rico. By 1954, Hilton profits exceeded $1 million and the Puerto Rican government earned a profit of $2.8 million. The indirect contribution made by the hotel to the island in the form of tourist spending was estimated at $20 million annually by T. A. Wise, a journalist with the Wall Street Journal. Hilton International correspondence also documents additional economic contributions to the economy of Puerto Rico in excess of $6 million.18 Consequently, Hilton International attracted the interest of hotel developers around the world who sought Hilton's expertise with similar projects in Europe, Mexico, Asia, and Egypt. HI entered into successful negotiations for permits to operate in Madrid, Istanbul, London, Rome, and Cairo. Architects designed Hilton hotels to meet high standards for operational efficiency and guest comfort. Each hotel was expected to meet symbolic cultural objectives as pronounced by Conrad Hilton: Culturally, the very architecture of hotels contributes to the beauty of any city . . . their interiors are authentic reproductions of period or contemporary art, decor and furnishings. Efficient equipment and facilities dramatically exemplify modern life and its achievements.19 Once the new international Hilton hotels began operations outside the United States, they were perceived as providers of safe hotels for Americans traveling internationally with uniform standards of clean water, safe food and good beds, working plumbing, air conditioning, good housekeeping standards, a safe environment, and the communications equipment necessary to business travelers. Repeat business by important members of the local community enhanced the international image of the hotels. In addition, America's self-made millionaires felt more comfortable at Hilton International hotels than at the traditional, class-conscious, luxury European hotels.20 Dr. Gerald Lattin, assistant Dean of Cornell's hotel school, attested to the American travelers' reliance on American hotels abroad in hotel management text book. He wrote that the affluent American world travelers came to depend upon "a Hilton, a Sheraton, or a Westin [as] a touch of home -- an oasis in the midst of strange and exotic surroundings . . .[The Americans] explore the customs, habits and traditions of a foreign country, but when evening arrives, they often desire American-style accommodations."21 An article appearing in the December 1963 issue of Town & Country magazine applauded the high, consistent standards of operations found in the Hilton
Michael Bird. Samuel Shepheard of Cairo. London: Michael Joseph LTD., 1957, p. 231. -----. "1950 Hotel Accommodations at the Crossroads of the Nation: How a Great New Hotel, the Caribe Hilton, was created in San Juan, Puerto Rico, with New Luxury for Guests and New Ideas for Alert-minded Hotel Men." The Hotel Monthly, vol. 58, no. 63, February, 1950. pp. 27-40. Also, -----. "Spectacular luxury in the Caribbean--the Caribe Hilton Hotel at San Juan, Puerto Rico." The Architectural FORUM, March 1950, P.p. 97-105. Conrad Hilton Collection, Hospitality Industry Archives. 17 Reports and a press release dated October 5, 1964, issued by Tim Lucas, Director of Public Relations, Caribbean area for Hilton Hotels International. The Caribe Hilton earned profits of $100,000 in its first year of operation. Conrad Hilton Collection, Hospitality Industry Archives. 18 T. A. Wise. "Global Hosts: W.S. Hotelkeepers Are Stepping Up Invasion of Foreign Cities." Wall Street Journal, vol. 50, no. 12, January 19, 1954. And, letter from Dean Carpenter, V.P. - H.I., to Abdala Naguib, June 30, 1953. Conrad Hilton Collection, Hospitality Industry Archives. 19 Conrad N. Hilton. Speech given in Houston, Texas, at the groundbreaking for the Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel & Restaurant Management, October 28, 1969. CNH Hilton Archives. 20 Udo Schlentrich, one time Hilton International executive; then general manager of the 5-star Dorchester Hotel in London; and now, a professor at the University of Strathclyde in Scotland. Personal interview, at the Conrad N. Hilton Archives and Library, 14 July 1993. 21 Gerald W. Lattin, Ph.D., CHA. The Lodging and Food Service Industry. (East Lansing, Michigan: Educational Institute of the American Hotel & Motel Association, 1985), p. 66.
16 15

Conrad N. Hilton College Library and Archives
Cathleen Baird, Director and Archivist

page 6

International hotels around the world; "People . . . know that upstairs there'll be a clean and comfortable bed and that when you press a button something will happen . . . one can eat the food without dreading tomorrow, and there are no Old World bugs crawling around the minute the lights go off. [Hilton] could almost be called the patron saint of the tourist."22 Strong testimonials appeared in newspapers and magazines around the world in praise of the architectural designs and the interior decor of Hilton's new hotels. As Conrad Hilton forecasted, each hotel enhanced the prestige of the cities in which these hotels were located and contributed to the host country's economic development, to the political socialization of hotel guests, employees, and the local population. The financial success of the hotels enhanced perceptions of America's prestige. Journalist Seena Hamilton wrote in March, 1954, that "Nowhere in the world has one done so much to enhance the prestige of an entire industry as that of Hilton for the hotel industry. . . On the international scene from Istanbul to Mexico City, it has shown world-wide travelers as well as local citizens what hotels can be, and what American hospitality and service are."23 Most know Hilton as a name synonymous with hotels — hotels that combined American standards of efficiency and modern comfort with the best traditions of hotelkeeping. Presidents and Kings around the world knew him as Friend and Economic Partner while students and educators from primary schools to universities in many different countries knew him as a benefactor. STATESMAN Conrad Hilton's altruistic concerns for the welfare of mankind guided his philanthropic activities. Despite the fact that he established a foundation, he continued to make personal gifts to people around the world. Moreover, as an extenuation of his personal and corporate philosophy, he believed it necessary to expand American participation in world trade. Hilton supported publicly the United Nation's goals for world peace and economic prosperity, at a time when many influential Americans were reluctant to enter into such long-term international economic programs.24 Hilton believed the institutions of peace should rest firmly on solid foundations of international political and economic cooperation. Archival documents detail the way this prescient entrepreneur gained status as an international statesman shortly after the United Nations Monetary and Financial Conference met at the Mount Washington Hotel, Bretton Woods, NH, in June 1944. Conference participants from forty-four countries including British economist John Maynard Keynes and US Treasury Secretary Henry Morgenthau, sought to stabilize currency and exchange relations by establishing the International Monetary Fund and the International Bank for Reconstruction. These new banks would promote a steady flow of international investment, which economists believed would increase the productive efficiency of developing countries and reduce trade barriers. When the UN representatives proposed this international treaty, it was necessary for the American Senate to approve American participation, according to US constitutional law. Various banking associations lobbied U.S. Senators to vote against the Bretton Woods Agreement. Consequently, Hilton joined with five other American business and industrial leaders in May of 1945. They organized a national committee "to give expression to the view of American Businessmen, Bankers and Industrialists who favor the Bretton Woods."25 The much-publicized activities of this committee served to arouse American public opinion to support Senate legislation in ratification of the Bretton Woods Agreement. Significantly, the Senate ratified the Bretton Woods Treaty and then continued to support the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund for more than thirty years.26 Conrad Hilton was to serve American and world interest with appointments to the European Economic Re-development Commission and President John F. Kennedy's Citizens Committee for International Development, a committee that reflected strong support for the 1961 bill before Congress. AN AMERICAN INTERNATIONAL ENTREPRENEUR
Suzy. "Happy Birthday, Dear Connie!" Town & Country, Vol. 117, No. 4493, December 1963, p.p. 104-105. Conrad Hilton Collection, Hospitality Industry Archives. 23 Seena Hamilton. "Hilton's International Expansion, Instrument in World Development," Hotel Gazette. March 1, 1954, pp. 16-22. A reprint in the Conrad Hilton Collection, Hospitality Industry Archives. 24 "The ABC's of Bretton Woods," a pamphlet, Conrad Hilton Collection, Hospitality Industry Archives. 25 Telegram, May 8, 1945. Conrad Hilton Collection, Hospitality Industry Archives. 26 Correspondence: Bretton Woods CNH Collection, biographical series, Hospitality Industry Archives.
22

Conrad N. Hilton College Library and Archives
Cathleen Baird, Director and Archivist

page 7

In her biography entitled Conrad N Hilton Hotelier, Mildred Houghton Comfort wrote “two great loves always stood out in Conrad Hilton’s life, quite apart from the deep affection he felt for family and friends — the love of God and love of Country.” Freely, intelligently, responsibly, confidently, powerfully, America now knows it can destroy Communist and win the battle for peace. We need fear nothing or no one — except God.27 Conrad Hilton delivered another important speech in 1950 on the occasion of the annual dinner meeting of the National Conference of Christians and Jews. In the speech entitled “The Battle for Freedom,” he expressed the following concerns: (1) the necessity for the support of the United Nations; (2) the re-armament of the Western European countries “who [must] bear the first shock of battle [with communism],” and (3) American “economic sacrifice” to support foreign countries in the fight against communism28. In later speeches, Hilton stated that “We have got to recapture that image of America as the hope of all the little people in the world...they must see a kind face, a generous face; they must see the prayerful, determined face of a loyal brother; they must see a face of great resolution and courage, but above all, they must see the face of a friend — a friend who, like the Statue of Liberty, holds high the torch of freedom to light the way for the world’s hopeful and oppressed.”29 By replacing American foreign aid around the world with strong economic development programs, Hilton expected to not only generate profits for his corporation but also to counter postwar anti-American feelings in countries like Egypt, Turkey, and Indonesia. One article describes this Hilton philosophy as "Trade Not Aid." His plan was to build hotels in key cities on each continent. "World Peace Through International Trade and Travel," was more of a corporate philosophy than just a motto. Throughout his life, Conrad Hilton continued to speak out for world peace and global economic stability. He vigorously opposed the spread of communism and used corporate advertising to promote world peace through travel. Hilton believed that a major hotel anywhere in the world should become the center of its community and express its spirit and personality. From a broader aspect the hotels should become a focal point from which the exchange of ideas, trade, and cultural expression may develop. People of many nations brought into direct social or business contacts in a hotel where all are welcome and at home, can be expected to gain a more sympathetic understanding of the problems and ways of life of fellow men. In this turbulent world it is our hope that these hotels may serve as tangible evidence of mutual confidence in a peaceful future. When the Berlin Hilton opened near the line that divided East from West Germany, Mr. Hilton told the audience that “Berlin was the pulse of the west,” typifying the worldwide struggle for peace. And some years later, at the October 1963 opening of the Tokyo Hilton, he said, “Our purpose is to start a current of good men around the world...sharing the wealth of knowledge and wisdom and culture with those nations who do not yet possess it.”30 The hotel business was good after World War II, and Hilton expected that it would continue for some years ahead in tandem with the growth of the airline industry. Statistics showed that he was right and the agenda for the regular meeting of Hilton Hotels Corporation's (HHC) Board of Directors on March 31, 1947, included a consideration to acquire financial interest in a corporation to be known as "Hilton International." That new corporation would promote, finance, develop, and manage hotels located in foreign countries at the invitation of the American government or foreign governments, and thereby contribute to local post war redevelopment. Edward R. Stettinius, Jr., former Secretary of State and delegate to the UN, was elected to the Board of Directors of Hilton Hotels Corporation only a few months before the Board of Directors finally approved foreign development.31 Other members of the Hilton Board with international stature included Herbert Hoover, former President, and J. Clifford Folger, financier and also Ambassador to Belgium. Hilton Hotels International operated under management contracts, supplying only operating capital. Hilton's use of local capital funds — a labor union's investment funds, a city's employees pension fund, or a combination private and government investments guaranteed by American dollars — contributed to a country's sense of pride in the construction of modern hotels for business travelers and wealthy tourists.
27 28

Comfort, p. 237. Vital Speeches, January 15, 1951, Conrad Hilton Collection, Hospitality Industry Archives. 29 Comfort, p. 240 and CNH Collection, speech series, Hospitality Industry Archives. 30 Conrad Hilton Collection, Hospitality Industry Archives Speech Collection and Comfort, p. 234. 31 Hilton Hotels Corporation press release, April 23, 1947.

Conrad N. Hilton College Library and Archives
Cathleen Baird, Director and Archivist

page 8

According to Conrad Hilton archival records, the Economic Cooperation Administration was to furnish seventy per cent of the funds for the Istanbul Hilton and fifty per cent of the funds for the Rome hotel.32 Hilton always insisted that local building materials and furnishings be used, and local people trained to staff the hotels — policies which enhanced the American image abroad. Moreover, the construction of new world-class hotels in war-torn European capital cities encouraged tourism and economic growth throughout the European continent. The Caribe Hilton financed by local union funds and the American government, opened in December 9, 1949, and made a significant contribution to the development of Puerto Rico's economic growth within the first twelve months of opening. Its remarkable success led quickly to hotels in Madrid and Istanbul. Foreign contracts often involved diplomatic negotiations at the highest levels of foreign governments, as was the case in Cairo. On November 20, 1953, Egyptian President Nasser and Finance Minister Amery signed the contract to build and operate a Cairo Hilton hotel within a fourteen-month negotiating period, despite on-going government changes resulting from the Egyptian revolution. Nasser was strongly committed to the successful completion of the hotel. The fact that construction site was protected by a cordon of military tanks whenever unrest broke out in Cairo is example of Nasser’s commitment to the completion of the Nile Hilton Hotel. WORLD PEACE AND PRAYER To Conrad Hilton, world peace and prayer were inextricably linked. His prayer, “America on Its Knees,” was recited first as part of a speech, “The Battle for Peace,” which was broadcast nationally from Chicago on May 7, 1952. Many consider this to be Conrad Hilton's biggest success outside the hotel business. The prayer was published several times in several American magazines with the picture of Uncle Sam in prayer. It received an overwhelming response from Christians all over the world. This led to requests for Hilton to appear on some of the leading television shows of those times where he would recite the prayer. President Dwight D. Eisenhower and Conrad Hilton were longtime friends who shared a love for golf and a commitment to the ideals of freedom, peace, and human progress.33 These two men joined with other American leaders at annual Prayer Breakfasts with the goal to foster faith, freedom, and worldwide Christian leadership through religious regeneration. The first Prayer Breakfast, and perhaps the most controversial, was held on the morning of Eisenhower's Inauguration, January 20, 1953. As President Eisenhower said upon the occasion of the subsequent National Prayer Breakfast in 1956, “It seemed to me that it was a perfectly natural thing to do...to sit and write a prayer to read at the inauguration, for an office created by a constitution, dedicated to God. By gathering here today...we are telling people that this is still a nation under God. While there is still a world that believes that the US is a boastful nation, and arrogant of its achievements, it is such meetings like this that help to dispel this myth.34 In his remarks at that same 1956 breakfast, Conrad Hilton told the audience of congressmen, senators, judges, and business leaders:
We as Americans have the obligation to share our success with some countries that have fallen along the [economic and political] wayside. If we show the willingness to stop along the broad hiway of economic prosperity [to help others]...we can have the right to expect that if we fall, we will be helped. What this world needs more than anything else today is an awareness of its own unity, an admission of the fact that not only men but also nations are brothers. Prayer is not enough. We must pray as if it all depends upon God and act like it all depends upon ourselves. I think a thousand years from now men will speak of our goodness as a nation today.

A letter Hilton wrote to Vice-President Richard M. Nixon on January 17, 1957 demonstrates a typical Hilton response by a man who was both an “innkeeper” and a “good Samaritan.”
CNH Archival records name Conrad N. Hilton as member of the Administrative Committee for Economic Cooperation. Documented by photographs at the Conrad Hilton Collection, Hospitality Industry Archives and the Chicago Hilton Hotel’s photo files. 34 National Prayer Breakfast, February 2, 1956, Mayflower Hotel Ballroom, Washington, D.C., from film in the Conrad Hilton Collection, Hospitality Industry Archives of the live morning television broadcast of the Today Show, as reported by N.B.C.'s Ray Scherer.
33 32

Conrad N. Hilton College Library and Archives
Cathleen Baird, Director and Archivist

page 9

It was with interest that I heard you speak on the Hungarian Relief Television Program the other night, and the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation is eager to be of assistance in this wonderful and inspiring work you are spearheading. Our thought is that we could perhaps sponsor a Hungarian family, assist them in coming to the US, and standby with financial assistance until such time as they are successfully able to find employment and stand on their own feet.35

Each letter requesting a copy of Hilton’s prayer was responded to by a hand-typed reply. Considering the thirteen-year time-span of the prayer's publication and the number of times Hilton recited it on live television and radio broadcasts, it is no surprise that the Conrad N. Hilton Archival Collection includes eight 1.5 cubic foot boxes full of requests for copies of the prayer. In fact, the Hospitality Industry Archives continues to receive requests for copies of the prayer. PHILANTHROPIC ACTIVITIES On December 22, 1944, a Trust, with Conrad Hilton as founder and grantor, was registered in California. Five years later all of the Trust’s assets were transferred over to a California nonprofit corporation, the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation. There are many records in the Conrad Hilton Collection at the Hospitality Industry Archives, which document Conrad Hilton's active involvement in a wide range of philanthropic activities between 1940 and his death in 1979. The materials include tax records, lists of small donations, correspondence, general information files, status reports of pledges, and some proposals for large long-term commitments. In a letter to Spearl "Red" Ellison dated 3 December 1956, Mr. Hilton wrote,
As you know, the Foundation had its history with the thought in mind away back in 1942, when I dedicated all of the profits received from my interest in the Dayton Biltmore Hotel to the creation of the Foundation. Since then we have accomplished a lot of good. We have a school building in Socorro, with three hundred kids going to school, besides assisting other numerous schools and hospitals throughout the world. I am very anxious for activities to not only continue, but to be extended as time goes on.36

A May 21, 1954, letter from Conrad Hilton to the law office of William J. Friedman states, "It is my intention to leave the bulk of my estate to the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation [first conceptualized in 1942]. There will be no tax on that and I think my plan suits me pretty well." James E. Bates, of the Los Angeles law firm of Johnson, Bates, & Sheffield, in a letter to Mr. Hilton attached to the Friedman letter above, compares the Hilton Foundation with the estate plan of the Henry Ford family.
The plan you have developed and perfected over the years is far superior for the accomplishment of your objectives than anything suggested in the Ford plan. . . . you have joined the control and wealth in the same hands, with a minimum of taxes. In the Ford plan, with the control going to individual members of a family, the wealth had to be separated in order to save immense taxes that might have broken up the Ford Empire. If Ford had given control, as well as the wealth, to his Foundation, his plan would be substantially the same as yours. This he did not choose to do, and therein lies the basic dissimilarity in fact. Your plan in contrast is this: (1) to provide reasonable and adequately for the members of your family by trusts and specific bequests, and (2) to give control of Hilton Hotels, as well as the wealth of your estate to a corporation already formed - Conrad N. Hilton Foundation.37

Ltr., Conrad Hilton to Vice-President Richard M. Nixon, January 17, 1957, Conrad Hilton Collection, Hospitality Industry Archives. 36 Conrad N. Hilton Foundation General Information 1956 file. 37 Legal 1954, folder, Conrad Hilton Collection, Hospitality Industry Archives.

35

Conrad N. Hilton College Library and Archives
Cathleen Baird, Director and Archivist

page 10

While the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation was his official vehicle for philanthropic activities, Mr. Hilton utilized his professional expertise to direct other fund raising projects. For example, The Los Angeles Times [April 7, 1955] reported Mr. Hilton's appointment as "chairman of the St. John's Hospital Men's Committee campaign to raise $425,000 for completion of three floors of St. John's Hospital, Santa Monica." He would work with Cardinal Francis McIntyre, Irene Dunne, Louis B. Mayer, Arthur Forristal, W. Keith and Shirley G. Burden to achieve those goals. That same year, Conrad Hilton hosted a fund-raising gala for St. John’s Hospital in the newly finished grand ballroom of the Beverly Hilton Hotel.

CONCLUSION Faith in God, his belief in the brotherhood of man, his patriotic confidence in the United States of America, and his conviction that there is a natural law that obliges all mankind to help relieve the suffering, the distressed and the destitute ... these virtues provided the cornerstone, the mortar, and the bricks with which Conrad Hilton dedicated the long and meaningful journey of his ninety-one years. Hilton was a man of vision who built the largest hotel real estate empire of his time and the first American international hotel company. He never lost sight of his responsibilities to his family, to his country, and to the world. Worried that the war-torn countries of Europe would not be able to maintain the peace after World War II, Hilton helped insure America's participation in the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. Hilton Hotels extended Conrad Hilton's personal reach towards international world peace and economic prosperity by providing accommodations for travelers in all the major capitals of the world. Travelers and local people could meet in friendly surroundings and begin to know one another. In addition, Hilton Hotels also provided centers where world leaders could focus on international problems as when the Nile Hilton hosted the annual meetings of the Arab League in Cairo. When Mr. Hilton did take time out from corporate expansion to measure his accomplishments, he was always reminded that he could not have been successful without faith. "Faith" he said, "was the most significant word of the English language...and the most powerful." In a speech given June 7, 1973, in Washington, DC, he went on to say,
Faith is the bond between man and his maker . . . the strongest tie that can exist between members of the human race and, as history continues to demonstrate, the only real basis for the true understanding and peaceful existence between nations of the world. If, in our personal lives, the strength of our faith has made possible a degree of success and brought us monetary rewards, I can think of no greater God given responsibility we have . . . than that of extending a helping hand to our fellowman. It is in that sense that I have sought to serve youth, with the endowment of career opportunities at the University of Houston, to serve the arts with the endowment of Webster College in St. Louis, and to serve mankind, with the endowment of a research center at Mayo 38 Clinic for the study of the human brain, and an understanding of the behavior it controls.

The Conrad N. Hilton Foundation carries out the intentions of Mr. Hilton’s Last Will. Current major Foundation funded programs include: Conrad N. Hilton Fund for Sisters which provides global support to Catholic Sisters working among the disadvantaged; Perkins School for the Blind to expand services to multi-handicapped blind children and their families, nationally and internationally; a partnership with World Vision that provides 330,000 people living in Ghana, West Africa, with permanent sources of safe water; BEST Foundation works to prevent drug abuse among young people; the Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management at the University of Houston which pays tribute to Mr. Hilton’s success in the hospitality field; and, a number of significant initiatives in the areas of domestic violence prevention and early childhood development.
"Religious Heritage of America," remarks of Conrad N. Hilton, Washington, D.C., 7 June, 1973, Conrad Hilton Collection, Hospitality Industry Archives.
38

Conrad N. Hilton College Library and Archives
Cathleen Baird, Director and Archivist

page 11

For more than fifty years, the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation has awarded more that $155 million in grants. Its directors and staff strive to fulfill and expand upon Mr. Hilton’s philanthropic vision to alleviate human suffering throughout the world by investing scarce funds in those organizations able to most effectively improve the quality of life of those in need.39 Not only was Conrad Hilton an innkeeper in the modern meaning of the word, but in the biblical sense, as he made truly significant contributions to better understanding among people. An American patriot and statesman, this extraordinary man successfully combined a lifetime of professional achievement in the hospitality industry with a dedication to foster contributions in the fields of world peace, education, and medicine.

39

Conrad N.Hilton Foundation’s 1994-1995 Annual Report

Conrad N. Hilton College Library and Archives
Cathleen Baird, Director and Archivist

page 12

APPENDICES

Conrad N. Hilton College Library and Archives
Cathleen Baird, Director and Archivist

page 13

CONRAD NICHOLSON HILTON (1887-1979) BIOGRAPHICAL FACTS
Born December 25, 1887 in San Antonio, New Mexico, one of seven children. Four children: Conrad N., Jr., William Barron, Eric Michael, and Francesca. Spoke Spanish fluently Hobbies: Golf, dancing, playing the piano Educated at St. Michael's College, Santa Fe, NM; the New Mexico Institute; and the New Mexico School of Mines. Served in the New Mexico legislature as a representative for one term. Purchased his first hotel, the Mobley, in Cisco, Texas (1919), then 3 more small hotels. Constructed his first hotel, the Dallas Hilton, which opened in August 1925.

A FEW OF THE LARGEST AMERICAN HOTELS BOUGHT BY CONRAD N. HILTON Dayton Biltmore, September 1946 Palmer House (2,300-rooms) in Chicago (1945) for $19.3 mil. Roosevelt in New York (1079 rooms), Spring 1943 Sir Francis Drake (450 rooms) in San Francisco, 1937 Stevens (2,673-rooms) in Chicago (1945) for $7 mil. The Breakers in Long Beach, California, 1937 The Plaza in New York, October 1943 Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York for $7.4 million (60% equity), 194940

Hilton Timeline and Milestones
1919 1923: 1924: 1925-1935 1926 1927 1927 1932: While visiting the west Texas oilfield town of Cisco, Conrad Hilton purchased his first hotel, the Mobley (40 guest rooms) for $40,000.00. By the end of 1923, Conrad Hilton had 530 hotel rooms in Texas. He began to dream about building the first hotel to carry the Hilton name. Conrad Hilton and his friend William R. Irwin formed "Hilton Hotel, Inc." and began construction of the Dallas Hilton. Hilton built and opened hotels in Abilene, Dallas, El Paso, Long View, Lubbock, Plainview Birth of Conrad Hilton, Jr., on July 6th Conrad Hilton president of Texas Hotel Association Birth of Barron Hilton on October 23rd. Conrad Hilton directed 19 hotels as president of Hilton Hotels, Inc. and general manager of Southern National Hotels Corporation. Actually, this Depression-era partnership with the Moody family of Galveston TX resulted as a means of trying to save Hilton's company during the worst years of the depression. Eric Hilton born July 1, 1933, when his father was negotiating a loan to buy back the El Paso Hilton. Purchased a vacation resort in New Mexico for a family retreat. Re-acquired the Paso del Norte in El Paso and a hotel in Longview (Texas) that Conrad Hilton renamed the Longview Hilton.

1933: 1934: 1935:

Conrad Hilton carried in his wallet for many years a photograph of the W-A on which he had written “The greatest of them all.” This was always a reminder of his long time goal to own that hotel.

40

Conrad N. Hilton College Library and Archives
Cathleen Baird, Director and Archivist

page 14

1935: 1936 1938:

1939:
1939

1940: 1941:

1942: 1943 1945

1945: 1946:

1946 1946

1947: 1947: 1948

Conrad Hilton vacationed in California and spent a week end at the Santa Monica Canyon ranch of Hollywood film star Leo Carrillo. The Hilton family entourage spent the first of two summer vacations in a rented house on Malibu Beach. Hilton Hotels in a Texas Hotel Review print ad listed the following Hilton Hotels: Abilene Hilton Dallas Hilton El Paso Hilton El Paso’s Paso Del Norte Longview Hilton Lubbock Hilton Sir Francis Drake Hotel in San Francisco (January 1938 purchase of the 500-room hotel funded by Hilton- formed "buying group"). After successfully launching hotels in Long Beach, California and Albuquerque, New Mexico (January 1, 1939), Hilton began to think about buying the Steven’s Hotel in Chicago. Conrad Hilton sold the El Paso Hilton to W. L. Tooley. An article in the Texas Hotel Review has a photograph of C. N. Hilton turning over the key to hotel’s entrance to Mr. Tooley on January 3, 1939. The Long Beach Hilton brought new, much needed convention business to the city by booking 17 major conventions with 26,000 delegates. Hilton established its first company headquarters outside of Texas when he opened offices at 9730 Wilshire Blvd. in Beverly Hills, CA. Hilton sold the Sir Francis Drake in San Francisco. November. C. N. Hilton signed the agreement with Palacio Del Rio Hilton of Chihuahua, Mexico. Hilton bought his first prestigious luxury hotel property, the Town House in Beverly Hills. Purchased Plaza and Roosevelt Hotels in New York City. Hilton became a major national force in the hospitality industry with purchase of The Palmer House and The Stevens (now the Chicago Hilton and Towers). The latter was then the largest hotel in the world. The Stevens was advertised at that time to have 3,000 rooms, but in fact, there were 2,673 rooms when Conrad Hilton purchased the hotel. It took Hilton 6 years to close the deal that enabled him to purchase that hotel. The Palmer House Hotel was bought for $19,385,000.00 shortly thereafter. Hilton became the "largest buyer" of nightclub talent with 14 nightclubs and hotel theaters across America — from the Coconut Grove to the Persian Room. July 1. — Hilton became the first new public issue of any real estate stock since the stock market crash of October 1929 when it joined the New York Stock Exchange June 23, 1947. At the time of incorporation on May 23, 1946, HHC had 9 hotels with assets of more than $51 million: Palmer House, Steven’s Plaza, Long Beach Hilton, Town House, Dayton Biltmore, Albuquerque Hilton, El Paso Hilton and Lubbock. (References: , Hilton Hotels Corporation Annual Report 1946 and Appraisal, Reorganization & Refinancing of Hilton Hotels Corporation, July 16, 1946. Acquired controlling stock interest in Mayflower Hotel, Washington, DC., 50% interest in both the Neil House hotel (Columbus, Ohio) and the Palm Beach Biltmore Hotel (Palm Beach, Florida). Entered into agreement on April 23, 1948 with the Puerto Rico Industrial development Company to build 300 room hotel in San Juan, the first Hilton International property. The hotel was leased to HHC for a term of 20 years, thereby obligating the corporation to provide operating equipment, inventories and working capital for the efficient and uninterrupted operation of the hotel. Hilton employed 10,000 people in the hospitality industry. Hilton converted a bookstore in the Steven’s Hotel Arcade that paid $250 per month to the Town and Country Room lounge that earned $25,000 per month. April 23rd. Official organization date of Hilton Hotels International, Inc. The contract for the Caribe was transferred to the International Company shortly after its organization, furnished the impetus as well as the pattern for the corporation’s future development.

Conrad N. Hilton College Library and Archives
Cathleen Baird, Director and Archivist

page 15

1948: 1948: 1949

1950:

1951: 1953 1954 1954

1955:

1956

1957 1958 1959 1960 1961

August 15th — Hilton inaugurated Inter-Hilton Hotel Reservation System. Hilton introduced a photographic department for the Palmer House's nightclubs. It earned $20,000 in revenues during its first year. The Caribe Hilton opened in San Juan, Puerto Rico, December 7th with construction costs of $7.3 million. Frank Wangeman was transferred from his duties as General Manager of the Plaza Hotel in New York City to serve as project and opening manager. Under Wangeman's exceptionally fine management, the hotel began to earn a profit within 6 months of its opening. Conrad Hilton honored received three awards: "Hotelman of the Year," the Horatio Alger Award, and the National Conference of Christians and Jews' Annual Brotherhood Award. Hilton Hotels represented assets of $666,174,653.48 and earned the net profit of $4,035,646 on gross revenues of $45,656,736. Hilton stock was listed on stock exchanges in New York, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. Hilton set financial management standards for controlling the cost of hotel operations with a "magic formula." He required his department heads to calculate departmental costs, and to evaluate the actual cost at the month's end. For the first time, management could predict the amount of staff and provisions required to meet corporate operational standards and guest expectations, and still maintain maximum gross operating profits. Individual hotel departments became responsible for drastically reducing costs and increasing profits in an unprecedented proportion — without reducing guest services. In August, the contract was signed to lease and operate a 400-room hotel in Mexico City at a cost of $6 million. The hotel was owned by Manuel Suarez of Mexico City, and designed by the Mexican Architect Fernando Parra Hernandez. The hotel was financed by Construcciones Internacionales, S.A. according to the HHC annual report for 1950. Hilton executive Curt R. Strand published a series of 6 articles in Hotel Management magazine that demonstrated Hilton-management techniques to other American hotel companies. Castellana Hilton opened in Madrid on July 14th. This was the first Hilton International hotel in Europe. Hilton International 1017 hotel rooms. Hilton purchased the Statler Hotel chain with its 11 hotels. This was the largest land transfer since the Louisiana Purchase. The Hartford Statler opened September 7, 1954. Hilton purchased the Shamrock Hotel in Houston, Texas and renamed it the Shamrock Hilton. Hilton opened its first hotel in Istanbul on June 10th. The Conrad Hotel (a HHC property) opened there in 1992. The Continental Hilton opened in Mexico City in December 1955. And, the cornerstone was set for the Nile Hilton in Cairo, Egypt and the contract signed for the Berlin Hilton. Edward R. Murrow’s interview program Person to Person featured Conrad Hilton. Beverly Hilton opened August 10th; the Terrace Hilton in October, the San Antonio Hilton in May; Hilton sold the Jefferson Hotel in St. Louis in December 1955 Hotels sold by Hilton during 1956: the Roosevelt February 1956 and the Mayflower in March 1956. The Dallas Statler Hilton opened January 15, 1956 with 1,001 rooms and contracts were signed for the operation of hotels in Tokyo, Japan and Honolulu, Wawaii. The Continental Hilton opened in Mexico City on January 11th and the Panama City Hilton opened this same year. Berlin Hilton opened in October Nile Hilton opened February 22nd. Conrad Hilton honored by the Nicaraguan government with the Great Silver Cross of the Order of Ruben Dario Virgin Isle Hotel re-flagged as a Hilton. Hilton Hawaiian Village re-flagged as a Hilton. Hilton Hotel Carrera opened in Santiago, Chili.

Conrad N. Hilton College Library and Archives
Cathleen Baird, Director and Archivist

page 16

1962 1963

1963 1964

1967 1972 1973 1977 1987 1987 1996 1996 1996 1997

1997

April: Acapulco Hilton Trinidad Hilton October: Amsterdam Hilton Hilton opened 7 international hotels during the spring of 1963, and the Athens Hilton by the year's end. January: Royal Tehran Hilton April-July: London, Rotterdam, Cavalieri-Rome, Hong Kong, Tokyo, and the Kahala in Hawaii August: Reflagged the Dorado Hilton and the Jamaica Hilton and opened the Guadalajara Hilton. September: Montreal Aeroport Hilton December: Athens Hilton re-flagged the Hotel Vancouver as a Hilton Hilton had 32 hotels in the United States and 29 international hotels for a combined total of 61 hotels in 26 countries with 40,298 guest rooms. Assets totaled $296 million. The company had 50,000 employees of 50 different nationalities and net earnings that exceeded $2.5 million The Caribe Hilton's influence on tourism after 15 years increased Puerto Rico's income from tourism from $5 mil. in 1949 to $90 mil. in 1964. Porter Parrish left the Shamrock Hilton in Houston to manage the Palmer House Hotel in Chicago December, Hilton Hotels Corporation spun off its international subsidiary, Hilton International. Those 24 hotels became an independent, publicly owned company. HHC retained the exclusive rights to operate Hilton hotels in the states of the US, and Hilton International the exclusive rights to operate Hilton hotels anywhere else in the world. The one exception was the Kahala Hilton in Honolulu, Hawaii which is operated by HI. May, Hilton International became a wholly owned subsidiary of Trans World Airlines (TWA) and increased its growth by about four new hotels a year. HI’s net profits rose from $47,698 in 1950, its first year, to $9.4 million in 1972. HI added six hotels and expected to open seven more in 1974 with the goal to have 82 hotels by 1976 with a total of 28,000 rooms. Hilton Nevada division started (BH President, Henri Lewin EVP) and then renamed in 1980 as Hilton Gaming Division started (BH President, Henri Lewin EVP. Hilton International Sold to Aegis, holding company for United Airlines Hilton International sold to Ladbroke, a British gaming and betting company, with headquarters in London. Lawsuit by Hilton International against Hilton USA settled May 10th. Ladbroke is in discussions with Hilton Hotels of the US to jointly develop the Hilton brand around the world. August 30th. Hilton USA formed an alliance with Ladbroke/Hilton International to jointly develop the Hilton hotel brand around the world, in a move that also allows the two companies to buy stakes in each other. January 14th. Ladbroke and Hilton Hotels agreed to a plan to reunite the Hilton hotel brand worldwide in a deal which will see Hilton Hotels acquire an initial 5% of Ladbroke. Hilton International (part of Hilton Group plc) holds the rights to the Hilton name outside the USA. It currently operates over 380 hotels in almost 70 countries worldwide. At the time it was acquired by the group in October 1987 for $1,070 million, Hilton International owned or managed 92 hotels. On 13th January, Hilton Group plc announced the signing of a worldwide alliance with Hilton Hotels Corporation, the owner of the Hilton name within the USA, that reunited the Hilton hotel brand for the first time since 1964. Under the terms of the alliance, Hilton Hotels Corporation and Hilton International are co-operating on sales and marketing, loyalty programs, central reservation systems and other operational matters. In November 2000 Hilton Group and Hilton Hotels Corporation announced a further initiative between the two companies - the formation of a joint venture company to expand the Conrad brand of luxury hotels on a worldwide basis.

Conrad N. Hilton College Library and Archives
Cathleen Baird, Director and Archivist

page 17

2000 2001

In November, Hilton Group and Hilton Hotels Corporation announced a further initiative between the two companies - the formation of a joint venture company to expand the Conrad brand of luxury hotels on a worldwide basis. On 23rd of April, the Hilton [International] Group announced that it had made a recommended offer for Scandic Hotels AB, the leading Nordic hotel operator, with 154 hotels in the Nordic region and elsewhere in northern Europe. The transaction was completed on 11th June, increasing the number of hotels operated by Hilton International to 379. This acquisition represents a further important step in Hilton's strategy to achieve a leading position in the European full service hotels sector. Hilton International continues its commitment to expanding globally, to bring the world’s most powerful hotel brand to first-class hotels, convention centers and serviced apartments in city centre locations, at international airports and in prime resorts identified as key to its customers. Properties are either owned or are operated under lease arrangements or, increasingly commonly, under management contract. During 2001 Hilton International opened 15 new hotels worldwide in locations including: Copenhagen Airport, Melbourne Airport, Auckland, Bangalore, Sorrento, Luxembourg, the Trafalgar in London, Dubai and Sofia. A further 16 hotels are scheduled to open in 2002 including Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt; Kuwait, London Paddington, Cologne, Tokyo Airport, and Chongqing, China.

2001

Conrad N. Hilton College Library and Archives
Cathleen Baird, Director and Archivist

page 18

CONRAD HILTON’S HOTEL MANAGEMENT PHILOSOPHY (circa 1947) 1. 2. 3. Each hotel should fit personality of its city and country. Select good managers and give them the authority they need. Forecasting day-to-day business in every department for the on-coming month to determine the number of staff and the amount of purchasing critical to meet operational needs and also make a profit. Mass purchasing for matches, china, bar soap, carpets and all other items utilized in the operation of the hotels Dig for Gold: utilize all spaces of hotel to generate maximum revenue. Training good management staff in order to maintain company standards and company progress. Strong sales efforts: good advertising, promotion, publicity and intelligent bookings of parties and conventions. Inter-hotel reservation system

4.

5. 6.

7.

8.

CONRAD HILTON’S HOTEL BUILDING PHILOSOPHY (circa 1957): “Any new hotel must be needed; the location, good; the financing, conservative; design, proper; and management, good.” 1. Hilton Hotels are designed to bridge the gap between luxurious personal service and the necessity of keeping the price reasonable. Building and decorating materials will require minimum of repair and maintenance. Carpets and upholstery fabrics must clean easily, wear forever, and be fireproof Guest rooms designed to conserve space without sacrificing guest’s perception of comfort and warmth. Each room includes televisions, telephones, improved air conditioning and ventilation. Because of increased construction costs and people’s changing needs, new hotels will have 1000 rooms or less.

2. 3. 4.

5.

Conrad N. Hilton College Library and Archives
Cathleen Baird, Director and Archivist

page 19

HONORARY AWARDS AND DEGREES:
Annual Brotherhood Award, National Conference of Christians and Jews 1950 = + *“Hotelman of the Year” - Michigan State University 1950 = + * Horatio Alger Award * Freedoms Foundation Award 1952 = + * Doctor of Laws - University of Detroit 1953 + Annual City of Hope Award (Los Angeles) * Freedoms Foundation Award = + * Doctor of Letters - DePaul University 1954 =+ Cornell University Society of Hotelmen = + * Doctor of Human Letters - Barat College, Lake Forest, IL 1955 = + * Chevalier de la Legion d’Honneur - France 1956 = + * Doctor of Laws - Adelphi College, Long Island, New York 1957 = + * Doctor of Laws - New Mexico College of Architectural and Mechanical Arts =* International Achievement Award, Chicago Chamber of Commerce 1959 = * Great Silver Cross of the Order of Ruben Dario, Government of Nicaragua 1960 = Honorary Secretary of State - Montana 1962 = * Doctor of Letters - Sophia University in Tokyo 1963 = * Michelangelo Award - Knight Commander in the order of Merit - Italy * + Magisterial Knight of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta Medalla Merito Turistico awarded by Francisco Franco of Spain Rihan Award for International Marketing Achievement and better understanding among people 1965 California - Israel Chamber of Commerce 1966 Order of Rio Branco, Brazil 1967 Grand Knight of the Order of St. Birgitta 1973 Primum Vivere Award by World Mercy Fund, Inc. 1973 Doctor of Laws, Honoris Cause, University of Albuquerque 1975 Foundation for Christian Living (Building Committee) awarded by Dr. Norman Vincent Peale Be My Guest published by Prentice-Hall, Inc., 195741 Inspirations of an Innkeeper (privately printed), 1963 “The Battle for Freedom,” Vital Speeches of the Day, January 15, 1951 “The Uncommitted Third,” Vital Speeches of the Day, May 15, 1957 “The Face of America,” Vital Speeches of the Day, January 15, 1962
Awarded for activities in the Hotel Industry Recognition of activities for world peace and economic stability Recognition of efforts in the field of education

+

*

=* =* =* =* + * + +

AUTHOR: = =* * * *

= * +

41

Unidentified ghost writer.

Conrad N. Hilton College Library and Archives
Cathleen Baird, Director and Archivist

page 20

CHAIRMAN: Hilton Hotels Corporation (and Director) Hilton International Company (and Director) DIRECTOR: * * * * * All-Year Club of Southern California American Committee on United Europe El Paso National Bank (Advisory Director) Freedoms Documents Foundation (Honorary Director) Freedoms Foundation National Conference of Christians and Jews People-to-People Health Foundation, Inc. (Project Hope) (also Advisory Committee)

TRUSTEE: *

*

* *

American Friends of Spain Foundation, Inc. Barat College of the Sacred Heart (Lake Forest, Illinois) Boys Club Foundation of Southern California Center for International Economic Growth DePaul University (Chicago, Illinois) Emeritus Loretto Heights College, Denver (National Board of Trustees) Olympic Games 1980 (Athens) Providence Memorial Hospital (El Paso, Texas) United States Council of the International Chamber of Commerce, Inc.

OTHER COMMITTEES (the number of committees varied on yearly basis):
* * * + * * *+ American Cancer Society (Public Information Committee) American Shakespeare Festival Theatre and Academy (national sponsoring committee) American Society of the French Legion of Honor (sponsoring committee member) Atlantic Council (sponsor) Bicentennial Commission, Los Angeles County (Advisory Committee) California - Israel Chamber of Commerce (Sponsoring Committee) Canadian Club of New York (Associate Member) Collegium Horoshima (American Advisory Council) Committee of American Industry (National Hotel Sponsoring Committee) Committee for Economic Development (Finance Committee) DePaul University (Chicago, Illinois) Society of Fellows Econometric Institute, Inc. Foster Parents’ Plan, Inc. (Sponsor and Foster Parent) Fu-Jen Catholic University (Advisory Board) Horatio Alger Awards Committee of the American Schools and Colleges Association

* + + * + +

_______________________________________________________ = Awarded for activities in the Hotel Industry * Recognition of activities for world peace and economic stability + Recognition of efforts in the field of education

Conrad N. Hilton College Library and Archives
Cathleen Baird, Director and Archivist + * * + + + Institute on Man and Science - Company of Fellows International Council for Christian Leadership (Executive Committee) International Geneval Association (National Honorary Member) Jules Stein Eye Institute UCLA - National Advisory Council Junior Achievement, Inc. - National Advisory Council Junior Auxiliary Jewish Home for the Aged (lifetime member) Las Carinas - Ranch for Retarded Children (honorary member) Laymen’s Movement for a Christian World League in Aid of Crippled Children, Inc. (sponsor) Les Amis d’Escoffier Society Foundation, Inc. honorary and founder member Los Angeles County Hearth Association (sponsor) Los Angeles De La Loma (charter life member) Marymount College, Los Angeles (Board of Regents) Mayo Foundation Development Program (sponsor_ Mt. Sinai Hospital and Clinic (Advisory Council) National Advisory Council of No Greater Love National Business Committee for N.A.T.0.

page 21

+

*

+
+ * + * * * + *

National Fund for Medical Education
Navy League of the United States (life member - national) Parkinson’s Disease Foundation (National Sponsoring Committee) President’s Committee on Employment of the Physically Handicapped Religious Heritage of America, Inc. (National Advisory Committee) Republican Associates St. John’s Hospital, Los Angeles (Board of Regents) Tau Kappa Epsilon (Alpha Omicron Chapter) United Nations Association of the United States of America U.S. Committee for United Nations (Executive Committee) United States Council Who’s Who in Los Angeles County (Honorary Board) Woodbury University, Los Angeles (Advisory Board) World Neighbors, Inc. (Board of Sponsors)

= * +

Awarded for activities in the Hotel Industry Recognition of activities for world peace and economic stability Recognition of efforts in the field of education

Conrad N. Hilton College Library and Archives
Cathleen Baird, Director and Archivist

page 22

BUSINESS ACHIEVEMENTS • First hotel property in Cisco, Texas - The Mobley, a 40-room property (1919) • Built two hotel chains in Texas, once before the Great Depression, and the second before the depression ended. • Began nation-wide expansion during the 1930’s in Long Beach and San Francisco, California. • Established the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation in 1944 • Founded Hilton Hotels Corporation (1946), which owned, leased, and franchised 278 hotels in the U.S. and abroad. • Founded Hilton International (1947) • Acquired Statler Hotels (1954). Formed Statler Hilton Corp. for $111 million, the largest real estate transaction to date in the U.S. • Played an important part in the civil rights movement by implementing policies requiring integration in the hospitality business. • Hilton Hotels International established (1964). SPONSORED: • Conrad N. Hilton College for Hotel and Restaurant Management with donation of 1.5 million to the University of Houston (1969) Largest single grant to a University of Houston Institution (1982) with $21.35 million to the University of Houston for the continual development and expansion of the Conrad N. Hilton College. Funding of $30,000 per year in scholarship funds to the University of Houston. • • Funding for construction of various college buildings for education and student residential needs around the world. $10 mil. gift to further Mayo Clinic’s work in the study of the human brain and human behavioral patterns in 1972 (news clippings and correspondence available). (Pledged by Conrad N. Hilton, and carried on by the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation.

BIBLIOGRAPHY Conrad N. Hilton Collection, Hospitality Industry Archives & Library, University of Houston. Of special value to this study are the corporate documents for Hilton Hotels and Hilton International's which consist of correspondence and reports written by HHC/HI President Conrad N. Hilton; HI Executive Vice-President John Houser; J. Clifford Folger, a Washington, D.C. investment banker, member of the executive committee of the Commission for International Economic Reconstruction, and member of the HI Board of Directors; Dean Carpenter, HI vice president and coordinator for Europe, and other HI executives. This collection is referred to as "CNH Collection, Hospitality Industry Archives" in the footnotes. “Biographical Sketch of Conrad Nicholson Hilton,” prepared by Public Relations Department, Hilton Hotels Corporation, December 1977. Certificates of Awards, 1950-1977. Comfort, Mildred Houghton. Conrad H. Hilton Hotelier. Minneapolis: T.S. Denison & Company, Inc., 1964. Conrad N. Hilton Foundation 1994-1995 Annual Report.

Conrad N. Hilton College Library and Archives
Cathleen Baird, Director and Archivist

page 23

Bibliography continued PERIODICALS
Vital Speeches of the Day, Vol. XVII, No. 7, January 15, 1951. Vital Speeches of the Day, Vol. XXIII, No. 15, May 15, 1957. Vital Speeches of the Day, Vol. XXVIII, No. 7, January 15, 1962.

NEWSPAPERS
Cunningham, Bill. “Hilton Spreading Right Type of Aid,” Boston Sunday Herald, June 24, 1956. Charles St. Peter, Financial Editor. “Hilton Hotels Lists Stock Here; Eyes Foreign Fields,” San Francisco, CA. Examiner, Feb. 9, 1951.

UNPUBLISHED MANUSCRIPT
Baird, Cathleen. Egypt’s Modern Hotels: From the Historic Shepheard’s the Nile Hilton. Copyright: Houston, May 1994, an unpublished manuscript. Bibliography for this article’s pages 3 through 8 has taken from Baird (1994): ------. "C. N. Hilton Sees Important Possibilities for US-European Cooperative Hotel Business," The Hotel Monthly, vol. 56, no. 6, September, 1948, p. 55. -----. "General Kincaid Stresses Tourist Opportunities in Caribbean Due to Packed European Hotels," The Hotel Monthly, vol. 57, no. 680, Nov. 1949. -----. "Hilton Hotels Form Subsidiary Group to Operate Outside USA" Hotel Gazette, May 29, 1948. From the Hilton International scrapbook in the CNH Archives. -----. “Hotel Accommodations at the Crossroads of the Nation: How a Great New Hotel, the Caribe Hilton, was created in San Juan, Puerto Rico, with New Luxury for Guests and New Ideas for Alert-minded Hotel Men." The Hotel Monthly, vol. 58, no. 63, February, 1950. -----. "Spectacular luxury in the Caribbean--the Caribe Hilton Hotel at San Juan, Puerto Rico." The Architectural FORUM, March 1950, P.p. 97-105. CNH Archives. Bird, Michael. Samuel Shepheard of Cairo. London: Michael Joseph Ltd., 1957. Correspondence files: letter from Dean Carpenter, V.P. - H.I., to Abdala Naguib, June 30, 1953. CNH Archives. Hamilton, Seena. "Hilton's International Expansion, Instrument in World Development," Hotel Gazette. March 1, 1954, pp. 16-22. [A reprint in the CNH Archives.] Hilton, Conrad N. Speech given in Houston, Texas, at the groundbreaking for the Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel & Restaurant Management, October 28, 1969. CNH Hilton Archives. Hughes, Lawrence M. "Hilton's Private 'Statesmanship' Shapes World-Wide Hotel Empire." Sales Management, October 19, 1956 Lattin, Gerald W., Ph.D., CHA. The Lodging and Food Service Industry. (East Lansing, Michigan: Educational Institute of the American Hotel & Motel Association, 1985. Oppacher, Hans (at the Berlin Hilton.) "World Report, February 1964." Cornell Quarterly, p. 37. Reports and a press release dated October 5, 1964, issued by Tim Lucas, Director of Public Relations, Caribbean area for Hilton Hotels International. The Caribe Hilton earned profits of $100,000 in its first year of operation. CNH Archives. Schlentrich, Udo. Personal interview at the Conrad N. Hilton Archives and Library, 14 July 1993. Strand, Curt. "How to Cut Costs and Up Your Profits." Hotel Management. May 1951. pp. 41-43. Suzy. "Happy Birthday, Dear Connie!" Town & Country, Vol. 117, No. 4493, December 1963, p.p. 104-105. CNH Archives. Wangeman, Frank G. Personal Oral History Interview at CNH Archives, 1993. Wise, T. A. "Global Hosts: W.S. Hotelkeepers Are Stepping Up Invasion of Foreign Cities." Wall Street Journal, vol. 50, no. 12, January 19, 1954.

Conrad N. Hilton College Library and Archives
Cathleen Baird, Director and Archivist

page 24

Author’s Vita
Name of Author: Cathleen D. Baird Place of Birth: Los Angeles, California Date of Birth: June 23, 1942 Graduate and Undergraduate Schools Attended: University of Houston, Houston, Texas Houston Community College, Houston, Texas Pasadena City College, Pasadena, California University of Washington, Seattle, Washington Degrees Awarded: Masters of Arts in Public History, 1994, University of Houston Bachelor of Arts, 1985, University of Houston Areas of Special Interest: The economic history of the Modern Middle East; hotels and culinary history, and rare premium teas. Professional Experience: Director and Archivist, Conrad N. Hilton College Library and Hospitality Industry Archives, University of Houston, 1989 – present. Established both library and archives. Consulting historian for Hilton Hotels Corporation, 1987 – present. Consulting historian for the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, 1989 – present. Consulting historian for A & E Television Biography series (Conrad Hilton) 1995-1996 Consulting historian for Marriott Hotels Corporation, 1996 Consulting historian for special task force, Renaissance/Marriott Hotels Corporation, 1997 President, Houston Culinary Historians, 1990-1994 Teaching assistant, Department of History, University of Houston, 1985-1988 Special assistant, Texas Instruments, Inc. Corporate Archives, Dallas, TX., 1987 Consulting historian for the 1987 Gourmet Night program chairperson (see below) Awards and Honors: Department of History Teaching Fellowship Award, 1985-88 Certificate of Distinction, National Model League of Arab States, 1988 Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management Fellowship, 1987 Barbara Landrum Scholarship Award for History, 1986 The Miller Scholarship Award for History, 1985 The Del Barto Scholarship Award for History, 1984 President, Phi Alpha Theta History Honor Society, 1985-86 Publications: Egypt’s Modern Hotels: From the Historic Shepheard’s to the Nile Hilton. Copyright: Houston, May 1994, a Masters thesis and unpublished manuscript. "Conrad Hilton and the Americans with Disabilities Act: 'Human Dignity is Paramount.'" Hospitality and Tourism Educator, vol. 4, no. 3, May 1992, pp. 45-46. "The Diet of American Slaves and its Influence on American Foodways." Food for Thought, Spring 1994, pp. 4-7. "The Expropriation of the Habana Hilton: A Timely Reminder." International Journal of Hospitality Management, vol. 9, no. 1, 1990, pp. 14-20. Co-writer: Michael L. Lefever. Morsels, monthly newsletter for the Houston Culinary Guild, editor 1996-97. Food for Thought, quarterly newsletter for the Houston Culinary Historians, editor 1992-96 Conrad N. Hilton Archives & Library Highlights, a bi-monthly newsletter, 1989 - 1991. “Hat’s Off To Hilton”, wrote and produced this videotaped presentation celebrating Conrad Hilton’s 100th birthday for the 1987 Gourmet Night program at the Conrad N. Hilton College. Used also for the Sixth Annual Distinguished Alumni Awards Dinner in 1997, and by Hilton Hotels Corporation’s President Carl Mottek at each corporate property in the fall of 1987.