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1974 Horatio Alger Award Winner

J. Willard Marriott*

Founder & Chairman of the Board
Marriott Corporation

"Choose a career with a future, and then never give up-no matter what setbacks you encounter."

Willard Marriott was born in 1900 at Marriott Settlement, Utah, where he was raised on a sheep ranch. He worked on the ranch from the time he was a toddler, and, at age 13, he went alone by rail with a herd of 3,000 sheep to market in San Francisco. He attended Weber Junior College and then the University of Utah. He began an A&W Root Beer franchise in Washington, D.C., in 1927. In 1928, he opened the first drive-in east of the Mississippi, and the business was incorporated as Hot Shoppes, Inc. In 1935, he was diagnosed with terminal cancer, but he lived another 50 years. In 1953, he took his restaurant chain public and, in 1957, he expanded his business to hotels. The first Marriott hotel opened in Arlington, Virginia. The company became Marriott, Inc., in 1967. Today, there are 2,800 Marriott properties located in the United States and 66 other countries.

* Deceased