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Conrad Hilton in prior of his Los Angeles hotel in 1954. JR Eyerman/The LIFE snapshot Collection via Getty photos

Conrad Hilton was among seven born in new Mexico in 1887 to Augustus Halvorsen and also Mary Genevieve Hilton, who relocated to the us in 1870 from Norway.

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His father own a grocery store store and also the family rented out rooms in their home, according to The Guardian.

After finding out the basics of business from his father, Hilton go on to serve in the US military during WWI. He to be a sublievenant in France v allied pressures in the Quartermaster Corps, responsible for supplying fuel, food, clothes, and household items to the army. Quartermasters also identified and cared for dead soldiers. He was discharged native the military in 1919.

After the war, Conrad moved to Texas and bought his very first hotel in 1919.


two rooms indigenous the 1919 construction of the hotel space still kept today. Hilton

According come his 1979 new York times obituary, 32-year-old Hilton had $5,000 to invest upon return from battle in 1919. The intended to buy a bank, yet negotiations didn"t relocate fast enough for him — he bought a 40-room hotel in Cisco, Texas the end of impatience.

The hotel came to be so successful, that Hilton rotate the dining room into added rooms to meet demand. When it"s no much longer a hotel, the framework was named a Texas historic site in 1970.

Throughout the 1920s, Hilton ongoing to buy and also build hotels in Texas. He lastly expanded beyond the state in 1942.


Conrad Hilton trial and error a bed in the Waldorf Astoria in 1949, finding that springy. Herbert Gehr/The LIFE photo Collection via Getty pictures

Hilton to buy a deluxe hotel in Los Angeles in 1942. In 1946, the Hilton Hotel Corporation to be formed.

In 1949, Hilton bought the Waldorf Astoria for $3 million. The supposedly kept a photo of the hotel under the glass on his desk with the phrase "The greatest of them All"written ~ above it.

It to be his long-standing ambitious to very own the hotel, but at very first its owner didn"t desire to offer it to someone who had actually other organization interests. The brand-new York State Realty and also Terminal firm owned the land and was likewise concerned the he would certainly run that down.

He lobbied with the agency anyway.

After several months, Conrad found out the someone else to be interested in purchase the hotel. He made decision to use his very own money rather of Hilton Hotel Corporation"s. One of the majority stockholders agreed come his proposal come buy 249,024 share of stock at $12 a share.

In the end, he paid $3 million for around 69% that Waldorf and gradually increased his share to 100%.

The legendary hotel is a landmark structure in brand-new York has hosted every president from Herbert Hoover come Barack Obama.


Keystone-France/Gamma-Rapho via Getty photos

The pair were divorced through 1946 and had one daughter together, Constance Francesca — Gabor"s just child, even through a slew of various other marriages.

Gabor had nine husbands — she divorced seven times and also had one marital relationship annulled. She to be famously quoted as when saying: "I to be a marvelous housekeeper: Every time ns leave a guy I save his house."

She also claimed to have an affair through her stepson, Conrad Jr.

Gabor died in 2016 at period 99.

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Hilton had actually three sons indigenous his very first marriage, with Mary Adelaide Barron, which ended in divorce in 1934. Conrad Jr., wilhelm Barron, and Eric Michael each made a surname for themselves, together well.