Barron Hilton
Barron Hilton

Natural causes has claimed the second generation of the Hilton Hotels and Resorts empire, Barron Hilton, who passed away this week at his home in Los Angeles, aged 91.

Barron was one of three sons of company patriarch Conrad Hilton but was a major driving force in the national and international expansion of the marque through his life, particularly upon taking the reigns as Chairman, President and CEO of Hilton Hotels Corporation following his father’s retirement from the role in 1966.

Once in charge, Barron orchestrated a number of real estate transactions which helped to drive the company’s expansion. Among these was a move into the fledgling desert oasis of Las Vegas – which was then in the midst of an explosion in new casino resorts led by tycoons including Howard Hughes – and from which the legendary Las Vegas Hilton was developed and became the largest hotel in the world. It stands today as the Westgate Las Vegas Resort and Casino.

Barron remained in the top job at Hilton until his retirement in 1996. He is survived by his wife of 60 years, Marilyn Hawley Hilton, eight children, 15 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

Interestingly and in a somewhat spooky footnote, Barron’s passing due to natural causes is identical to that of his father Conrad, who also lived to the age of 91.