Eric M. Hilton
Former Vice Chairman of Hilton Hotels Corporation
|Eric Hilton's career as an hotelier has contributed significantly to the development, growth and operation of Hilton Hotels Corporation. His accomplishments in the areas of domestic and international strategic planning and property development led to the continued growth of the company that his father, Conrad N. Hilton, founded over 75 years ago.
Eric Hilton retired as vice chairman of Hilton Hotels Corporation in 1997. He began his career in 1949, while still in high school, working as an engineer in the basement of the El Paso Hilton. He also apprenticed as a bellman, doorman, steward, cook, elevator operator, desk clerk and telephone operator.
Upon graduation from El Paso High School in 1951, Hilton attended Texas Western College. The Korean War interrupted his college education and he served in the Army as a radar specialist. After being discharged, he continued his hotel career at the Dallas Statler Hilton. In 1959, he was appointed resident manager of the Deshler Hilton in Columbus, Ohio. The following year, he received his first appointment as general manager for the Hilton Hotel in Aurora, Illinois. Hilton was appointed general manager of the Shamrock Hilton in Houston in 1961.
In 1966, he was promoted to southwest sales manager and subsequently, in 1969, was named senior vice president of Hilton Inns, Inc., the company's franchising division. He remained with Hilton Inns until joining Conrad International in 1983, where he later became president.
Hilton now serves as a director for the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation. He has been honored with numerous awards, including the Alumni President's Award and an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from the University of Houston. Hilton has also served as a director of the Little League Foundation of America for more than 35 years.