John Willard Marriott Jr.
Doctor Of Letters
J. Willard Marriott Jr. has distinguished himself as a leader in the hospitality business and for his philanthropy and dedication to education.
Currently the chairman and chief executive officer of Marriott International Inc., Mr. Marriott is the son of Marriott Corporation founder J. Willard Marriott Sr. Under their leadership, Marriott International has grown to become a leading worldwide hospitality company with nearly 2,400 operating units in 64 countries and all 50 states.
Born and raised in Washington, D.C., Mr. Marriott attended the prestigious St. Albans School in Washington and graduated from the University of Utah with a bachelor of science degree in banking and finance in 1954. He spent two years as a ships supply officer on the aircraft carrier USS Randolph before going to work full time for his fathers Hot Shoppes restaurant chain in 1956.
Eight months later Mr. Marriott took over management of the companys Twin Bridges Motor Hotel in Arlington, Va., making his first venture into the lodging industry.
Mr. Marriott was elected executive vice president of Marriott Corporation and a member of the board of directors in 1964 and became president of the company later that same year. In 1972 he succeeded his father as chief executive officer and was elected chairman of the board in 1985, following his fathers death.
Marriott International operates and franchises hotels under the brand names of Marriott, JW Marriott, The Ritz-Carlton, Renaissance, Residence Inn, Courtyard, Towne-Place Suites, Fairfield Inn, SpringHill Suites and Ramada International. It also develops and operates vacation ownership resorts under the brands of Marriott Vacation Club, Horizons, The Ritz-Carlton Club and Marriott Grand Residence Club. In addition, the company operates Marriott Executive Apartments, provides furnished corporate housing through its ExecuStay by Marriott division and operates conference centers.
Other Marriott businesses include senior living communities and services, and wholesale food distribution. Systemwide, Marriott has approximately 152,000 employees and reported sales of $19.8 billion in 2000.
Mr. Marriott is a director of Host Marriott Corporation, General Motors Corporation, the Naval Academy Endowment Trust and the National Geographic Society. He is a member of the executive committee of the World Travel and Tourism Council, a member of the Business Council and an active member in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.