'A remarkable man': Barron Hilton, hotel magnate dies at 91

Barron Hilton head of the Hilton Hotel chain is shown in Chicago. Hilton a hotel magnate who expanded his father's chain and became a founding owner in the American Football League has died. Hilton's family says he die

Hilton died Thursday of natural causes at age 91, the family run Conrad Hilton Foundation stated in a press release.

Hilton, who serves as chairman of the board at the Hilton Foundation, said the family is mourning the loss of a remarkable man.

"Ever since I was a little girl I have looked up to him as a businessman", the 38-year-old continued.

Paris posted a heartfelt tribute to her late grandfather on social media Friday afternoon, saying she's deeply saddened by his death and calling Barron a visionary. "He was a Legend, a visionary, brilliant, handsome, kind and lived a life full of accomplishment and adventure", she wrote. He was the father of Rick Hilton and the grandfather of socialites Paris Hilton and Nicky Hilton Rothschild. "His spirit, heart and legacy will live on in me".

He bought the Los Angeles distributorship for Vita-Pakt Citrus Products and founded McDonald Oil Co., Air Finance Corporation, the Carte Blanche Credit Card and the Chargers of the American Football League before returning to the family business to take over for his father as president and chief executive officer in 1966. While Hilton was president of the club, the team won five divisional titles and one American Football League championship.

When Hilton became CEO of Hilton Hotels Corp.in 1966, he stepped down from his involvement with the Chargers and the AFL.

In a statement, the Chargers NFL team he helped found said it would not be in existence without him.

Hilton's wife, Marilyn Hawley Hilton, died in 2004. - - not to his famous progeny, but to his family's philanthropic foundation.

Hilton Hotels Corporation, along with Harrah's Entertainment, the successor gaming corporation to Hilton's gaming operations, were purchased by two private equity firms in 2006 and 2007.

"Today the world of hospitality mourns for one of the greats".

Famous hotelier and philanthropist Barron Hilton died this week at his home in Los Angeles.

Hilton challenged his father's will - arguing the foundation's shares of Conrad Hilton's fortune that were being used to help Catholic nuns could leave the company open to a hostile takeover- in 10-year legal battle that ended in a settlement.

A hotel guest walks out of a Hilton hotel on August 1, 2006, in San Francisco, California.

He was invited by his father to join Hilton Hotels Corp.in 1954 as a vice president, the foundation said.

"Without Barron, there would be no Chargers", Spanos said, and he said his family and the entire Chargers organization expressed their gratitude and condolences to the Hilton family.



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