CONRAD HILTON Sr.
Conrad Hilton´s father Augustus Halvorson "Gus" was the son of Halvor Nilsen Hilton and Karoline Hansdatter Holum. "Gus" was born on the Hilton family farm near Kløfta, the only place in Europe, besides Germany, where the Hilton family still have relatives living. "Gus" emigrated to the United States in 1870. Conrad´s mother was born in Fort Dodge, Iowa, the daughter of a German-born merchant, Conrad Laufersweiler and his wife Caroline Wasem. Conrad´s parents were married on February 12, 1885 in Fort Dodge.
Conrad was educated at the New Mexico Military Institute, at St. Michael´s College (now the College of Santa Fe), and at the New Mexico School of Mines (now New Mexico Tech). In his early twenties, he was a representative in the first legislature of the newly-formed State of New Mexico.
Shortly after the United States entered World War I in 1917, Conrad Hilton enlisted in the U.S. Army and was sent to Officers´ Training Command, Presidio of San Francisco. Second Lieutenant Hilton arrived in France, February 14, 1918. His unit the 304th Labor Battalion, saw limited combat. February 11, 1919, Conrad Hilton was discharged at Camp Dix, New Jersey (now Fort Dix). While Conrad was in the army, his father "Gus" was killed in a car accident.
Conrad built a store in Socorro County, New Mexico, but he later moved to Texas. He entered the hotel business by buying the Mobley Hotel in Cisco, Texas, in 1919. The first high rise hotel he built was the El Paso Hilton (now the Plaza Hotel (El Paso)), which opened on November 20, 1930. He formed the Hilton Hotels Corporation in 1946. The company expanded into credit cards, car rentals, and other travel services.
During the Great Depression Hilton was nearly forced into bankruptcy and lost several of his hotels. He was retained as a manager and eventually bought them back.
Conrad Hilton had three wives, Mary Adelaide Barron (married 1925, divorced 1934), actress Zsa Zsa Gabor (married 1942, divorced 1946) and Mary Frances Kelly (married 1976 through his death in 1979). Conrad Hilton and Zsa Zsa Gabor had one daughter, Constance Francesca Hilton (born in 1947), who is the only child born to any of the famous Gabor sisters.
Conrad Hilton died on January 3, 1979, in Santa Monica, California, at age 91 from natural causes. He is interred at Calvary Hill Cemetery, in Dallas, Texas.
||His estate founded the Conrad N. Hilton Humanitarian Prize. He left US$ 250,000 to each of his surviving siblings and US$ 10,000 to each of his nieces and nephews. Most of his assets were willed to the Roman Catholic Church and charities. However, Conrad´s son, Barron, contested the will and won in 1988. The net worth of Barron and his descendants then jumped to over US$ 335 million.
He is the great-grandfather of Paris Hilton and Nicky Hilton. There are currently two members of the Hilton family named Conrad. One is Paris´ younger brother, Conrad Hughes Hilton. The other is Conrad Nicholson Hilton III, son of Conrad Nicholson Hilton, Jr.
CONRAD HILTON Jr.
Conrad Hilton Jr. (1926 - 1969), known as "Nicky";, was an American socialite and heir of the Hilton Hotel chain, a business executive and TWA director.
He was born in Dallas, Texas, the eldest son of Conrad Hilton Sr. and Mary Adelaide Barron. His brothers are William Barron Hilton and Eric Michael Hilton. He also has a younger half-sister, Francesca Hilton, whose mother is Zsa Zsa Gabor.
Hilton had two wives, actress Elizabeth Taylor (married May 6, 1950-divorced 1951), and oil heiress Patricia McClintock (married November 26, 1958-divorced 1965). He and McClintock had two children, Conrad Nicholson Hilton, III (born January 29, 1960) and Michael Otis Hilton (born June 12, 1961).
The celebrity sisters and heiresses, Paris Hilton and Nicky Hilton, are his great nieces, the latter sharing his nickname.