J. W Marriott was the founder, Chairman and CEO of Marriott International, Inc. that is the world’s biggest hospitality company that later became the largest food services and hotel chain turning him into a billionaire.
John Willard Marriott was born on 17th September 1900 in a Marriott Settlement close to Ogden, Utah. He went to Weber College and graduated in 1923. He later attended the University of Utah and graduated in 1926. The next year he gained franchise rights from A&W Root Beer and started off with a nine-stool beer stand in Washington D.C. He introduced other items such as Mexican Food on his stand naming it ‘The Hot Shoppe’. Soon it became a popular restaurant. Marriott initiated a drive-in incorporating the business into Hot Shopped Inc. in Delaware. This business expanded so much so that he was given the management of food services to government buildings and even the U.S Treasury.
Marriott was diagnosed with a dangerous lymph node cancer and was given a maximum of one year to live. However, he lived for another five decades turning out to be the host of the entire world. His restaurant chain expanded by going public in 1953. By 1957 his business had become so successful that he decided to open a hotel thus laying the foundations for the first Marriott Hotel in Virginia. The company was officially named Marriott, Inc. in 1967. He made two additions to the business namely the chain ‘Big Boy’ in 1967 and ‘Roy Rogers Family Restaurant’ the next year. Marriott worked day and night to make improvements to his company. Even after the company had grown to incorporate hundreds of hotels and restaurants, he personally looked over each and every establishment several times in a year. He was very close to his workers and made sure they were cared for and all their needs were met.
In 1970s Marriott shifted the company’s initial business model of hotel ownership to franchising and management of property. This really aided in the company’s growth. In 1993, the company was divided into counterparts such as Marriott International that was leaded by J. W. Marriott himself, and Host Marriott International that was chaired by Richard Marriott, his brother. Marriott International is included in Fortune’s list of most admired companies. It is recognized as one of best places to work and is known for its promise to diversity and social responsibility.
Marriott’s portfolio includes a large range of lodging brands. Marriott International works and franchises several luxury hotels and resorts such as the Marriott, JW Marriott, Autograph Collection, The Ritz-Carlton, Renaissance, Residence Inn, TownePlace Suites, AC Hotels by Marriott, Courtyard, SpringHill Suites and Fairfield Inn and Suites. It also includes the Bulgari brand names, Grand Residences and the Ritz Carlton Designation Club, Marriott Vacation Club.
J.W Marriott died on 13th August 1985. With his hard work and commitment to success Marriott turned his small beer stand to the most profitable and diversified companies in the world. At the time of his death Marriott International had 1400 restaurants and 143 resorts and hotels. He had annual earnings of 4.5 billion dollars in revenue.