The Story of a Famous Hotelier…

Renee Ryan here and I have an apology to make.  The last time I blogged I announced the winner of a copy of one of my books.  Unfortunately, the post got lost in cyber space due to a problem with our site.  So…I plan to make up the oversight here today.  You have to read to the end of the blog to see what I have in mind.

I’m working on my next book.  It’s Book 9 (and the final book) in my Charity House.  The book is set in the 1890s in Denver, Colorado.  The hero is one of the first “orphans” to live at Charity House.   Jonathon (formerly Johnny) Hawkins is all grown up and has made good.  In fact, he owns a chain of hotels across the United States.  When I first started thinking about what my all-grown-up Johnny was like I did what I always I do.   I researched.  When I came across Conrad Hilton, the founder of the Hilton Hotel chains, I knew I’d met the model for Jonathon.

Conrad Hilton 2
Conrad Hilton as a young man
Later in life








If I shared everything I learned about Connie here today this blog post would be several pages long.  Instead of overwhelming you, here are a few of the more interesting Fast Facts about this incredibly interesting man.

  • Conrad Hilton founded the Hilton Hotel chains
  • He was born on Christmas day in 1887
  • He died January 3, 1979
  • He was born in San Antonio, New Mexico Territory
  • He had 8 siblings
  • His father, Augustus Halvorsen Hilton, was an immigrant from Norway
  • His mother, Mary Genevieve, was a Catholic American of German descent
  • He was married three times, most notably to Zsa Zsa Gabor
  • He had a degree in mining from New Mexico Military Institute
  • He was a great philanthropist, which was influenced by his strong Catholic beliefs
  • His mother taught him that prayer was the best investment he could ever make
  • He fought in WWI
  • He built his first hotel in 1925, the Dallas Hotel
  • His great granddaughters are Paris and Nikki Hilton

I could go on, but I’ll save “how” he built his empire for another blog post.  Leave a comment and I’ll put in a drawing to receive a copy of my September release, HIS MOST SUITABLE BRIDE, where Jonathon has a strong secondary role.


Now, about my last post…

Because of the confusion due to site issues, I’ve decided to give the following people a copy of my September release, or any book from my backlist they choose.  Britney Adams, Cindy Wodard, Colleen, Connie J, Cori and Lori…email me your snail mail address and book preference at  and I’ll get the book to you as soon as I can.



+ posts

14 thoughts on “The Story of a Famous Hotelier…”

  1. Hello Renee,

    Interesting facts. There so much news about the young Ms. Paris Hilton, I really never gave too much though about the original Mr. Hilton that started it all. And a degree in mining? Who would have thought. Is Mr. Hilton’s hotel empire the premise behind your book ‘His Most Suitable Bride’?

  2. That is very interesting. I never would have made the connection between the Paris and Nikki and the Hilton chain of hotels. And congratulations on getting the last book in your series almost finished!

  3. What an interesting post. He certainly was a handsome man. Since he was married to Zsa,Zsa I doubt that anything his descendents do would surprise him.

    I guess I’m going to have to wait for your next post to find out how he got from mining to the hotel business.

  4. I learned about Conrad Hilton since I live in ALbq. and knew about his life here. The hotel is famous and has been updated and has won numerous awards. It is called the Hotel Andaluz. Thanks for your wonderful post today.

  5. I’m interested in learning how he built his hotel business, so I’ll be looking forward to that post. He sounds like such an interesting historical figure!

  6. Wow great post!!! I wonder if he had something special to make his hotels stick out more than others at that time. because today when we hear the name Hilton we know the hotels are going to be nice.Thank you soo much picking me to win also from your last blog!! 🙂

  7. Very interesting post, Renee. One of the best places we ever stayed was the Capitol Hilton in DC. Terrific location. Interesting though, two divorces yet strong Catholic beliefs. At least his granddaughters have been supplanted with other “celebrities” these days. Best of luck with the book!

  8. Great post! I love what little tidbits one can find if they actually look. Thanks for listing me as one of your book winners! 🙂

  9. Hi all! I’m in San Antonio and have limited access to Internet. Keep the comments coming!!! I’m reading everyone’s thoughts…great stuff!!!

  10. Thank you so much for picking me from your last blog! I sent you my info.

    Today’s post about Conrad Hilton was quite interesting.

  11. Interesting information on Mr. Hilton. Quite a difference in perspective and attitude between his and his heirs’ generations. Have enjoyed your Charity House series. His picture when young fits well with what we can expect your characters would look like. He was a handsome man at both ages.
    Thanks for the giveaway and your generosity with the previous post.

Comments are closed.