Conrad N. Hilton: Reveled in Hotel Deals

Conrad N. Hilton: Reveled in Hotel Deals

by Daniel Alef

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Biographical profile of Conrad Hilton, one of the greatest hoteliers of all time. He acquired his first hotel more by accident than by design, the Mobley in Cisco, Texas. Seeking to increase his profits by maximizing space, sometimes taking drastic action to do so, he developed a system he called "mining for gold," a system he employed in all his subsequent hotel acquisitions. He built Hilton Hotels into a giant hospitality company which now boasts 485,000 rooms and 2,800 hotels. Hilton was a visionary and daring risk taker who knew how to turn hotels into cash generating assets. he also lived the Hollywood life, marrying Zsa Zsa Gabor and residing at his posh Bel-Air, California, estate, Casa Encatada. Award-winning author and syndicated columnist Daniel Alef, who has written more than 300 biographical profiles of America's greatest tycoons, brings out the story of Hilton's remarkable life and the turbulence he encountered while climbing the road to the pinnacle of success. [3,395-word Titans of Fortune article with timeline, short bibliography and video links]

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781608041633
Publisher: Titans of Fortune Publishing
Publication date: 12/27/2010
Series: Titans of Fortune
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Sales rank: 571,887
File size: 550 KB
Age Range: 15 Years

About the Author

Daniel Alef has written many articles, one law book, one historical anthology, Centennial Stories, and authored the award-winning historical novel, Pale Truth (MaxIt Publishing, 2000). Foreword Magazine named Pale Truth book of the year for general fiction in 2001 and the novel received many outstanding reviews including ones from Publishers Weekly and the American Library Association's Booklist. A sequel to Pale Truth, currently entitled Measured Swords, has just been completed. Titans of Fortune, biographical profiles of America's great moguls, men and women who had a profound impact on America and the World, began in April 2003. He is also a contributor to the recently released reference work: Gender and Women's Leadership pubished by Sage Publishing. Mr. Alef's experience as a lawyer, CEO of a public company, a rancher, and author, combined with his academic background-UCLA (B.S.), UCLA Law School (J.D.), the London School of Economics and Political Science (LL.M.), and Cambridge University (post-graduate studies)-gave him the perception to analyze the powerful titans and their achievements, and to place their lives and triumphs in a larger perspective. The Titans of Fortune series of articles appeared in several newspapers including the Lee Newspapers, Knight-Ridder, and became a weekly column in the Santa Barbara News Press. Mr. Alef also had a one-hour weekly radio show based on the Titans of Fortune column. He has appeared as a guest speaker and lecturer at various university, Rotary, and Kiwanis clubs, public libraries including San Francisco and Chicago, cruise ships, and at numerous historical societies across the nation. Mr. Alef serves on the Board of Trustees of the Santa Barbara Historical Museum and on the Santa Barbara Sheriff's Activities League. He is a black belt in judo and one of the head instructors of the University of California at Santa Barbara Judo Club. He currently lives with his family in Santa Barbara.

Read an Excerpt

It seems as if Paris and Nicky Hilton get as much publicity as the entire Hilton Hotel chain, the giant hospitality company with 485,000 rooms and 2,800 hotels. They all owe their existence to Conrad N. Hilton, a man who achieved success with the same panache, daring and abandon that his great-granddaughters employ in revealing their habitus.
Although Hilton lived for nearly 30 years in Casa Encantada, a 61-room mansion set on nine acres in Bel Air, a wealthy suburb of Los Angeles, the governor of Texas called him a Texan. After all, Hilton was born in San Antonio in 1887 and started his hotel career in Texas. However, the San Antonio of Hilton's birth was in the Territory of New Mexico, not in Texas
Hilton's father Augustus, was a Norwegian immigrant who married Mary Laufersweiler a religious second-generation German-American. "Gus" owned a mercantile store, ran a boarding house, and later acquired coal mines in New Mexico.
Hilton's upbringing was reasonably strict: he had to put in a day's work with his father before he could go out and play. After attending a grammar school, Gus sent Hilton to the Goss Military Academy and a year later to the New Mexico Military Institute.
When Hilton was 16 his father sold the coal mines for $100,000, making the family one of the richest in the territory. He kept the store. A year later, after a visit to the World Exhibition in St. Louis, the Hiltons moved to Long Beach, CA where Hilton attended high school.
Unfortunately, the Panic of 1907 wracked the family fortune and ended Hilton's dream of attending Dartmouth. The Hiltons returned to New Mexico; they still owned the store in San Antonio. The room above the store served as a "hotel" and Hilton carried luggage, made wake-up calls and performed other bellhop chores. He didn't find it particularly interesting.
By the time he was 18, Hilton had been a clerk, a roving trader, a minor speculator, and a bellboy. He also farmed and sold the produce, and played the piano at weddings.
Instead of Dartmouth, Hilton entered the New Mexico School of Mines at Socorro. He wasn't interested in mining . . . . "but I was as determined now at twenty to study something as I had been determined at sixteen to study nothing at all." Hilton attributed his subsequent ability to formulate and analyze complex financial transactions to his studies of mathematics at the School of Mines.
Hilton's father offered him the manager's post at the San Antonio store, but father and son did not mesh too well in business. Hilton felt his leash was too tight. After a brief stint with his father, Hilton turned to politics, running as a Republican for the first New Mexico House of Representatives-New Mexico had just been admitted to the Union.

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