John Willard Marriott
(September 17, 1900 – August 13, 1985) was an American entrepreneur
and businessman. He was the founder of the Marriott Corporation
(which became Marriott International
in 1993), the parent company of one of the world's largest hospitality
, hotel chains
and food services
company. His company rose from a small root beer
stand in Washington D.C.
in 1927 to a chain of family restaurants
by 1932, to his first motel in 1957. By the time he died, the Marriott company operated 1,400 restaurants and 143 hotels and resorts
worldwide, including two theme parks
, earned USD $
4.5 billion in revenue annually with 154,600 employees. The company's interests even extended to a line of cruise ships
and theme parks
Marriott was born at Marriott Settlement near Ogden, Utah
, and was raised on his father's farm. His father gave him considerable responsibility at an early age: he was sent to San Francisco
on his own with 3,000 sheep in a railcar
at the age of 14.
At the age of 19 and as a devout Mormon
, he undertook the traditional missionary
work of the church for two years, being assigned to New England
. On his way home after completing his mission, he passed through Washington D.C.
during the sweltering summer months of 1921. While there:
- "... e walked from Capitol Hill to the Washington Monument, toiled up the steps to the top, walked back down again, and strolled over to the Lincoln Memorial. Everywhere he went tourists and pedestrians......