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1956 Horatio Alger Award Winner

Lester W. Carter*

President
American Hotel Association

"I learned as much as I could about the hotel business, and that took me to the top."

Lester Carter began his career as a bellboy, where he dreamed of managing a hotel. His career was interrupted briefly during World War II. While he was overseas, he joined the Fred Harvey organization so that he could learn about the food service business. After returning to the United States, he jumped into hotel ownership by building the Frontier Hotel in Cheyenne. It prospered, and through skillful investment he acquired control of a series of hotels, forming the Western Hotel chain. He also ventured into apartment management. By 1970, Western Hotels had 38 locations and was one of the nation's leading independent hotel operators. At that time, the partners in the corporation separated-with one branch becoming Great Western Hotels (now known as Best Western) and the other staying with apartment management. Lester Carter later became president of the American Hotel Association.

* Deceased