Bill Marriott: Success Is Never Final--his Life and the Decisions That Built a Hotel Empire

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Bill Marriott, son of J. Williard Marriott who opened a root-beer stand that grew into the Hot Shoppes Restaurant chain and evolved into the Marriott hotel company, grew up in the family business. In his more than fifty years at the company s helm, Bill Marriott was the driving force behind growing Marriott into the world s largest global hotel chain. His vision and leadership expanded the family business to more than 6,500 properties across 127 countries and territories.

Success Is Never Final gives readers an intimate portrait of the life of a billionaire and business titan and shares his definition of success. Bill shares details about his very structured childhood including the private struggles with his domineering father s chronic harsh criticism; his time in the United Sates Navy as an officer aboard the U.S.S. Randolph; how he innovated the hotel industry with resort-like facilities; his dogged courtship with Donna, who would eventually say yes to his marriage proposal over a pay phone; and the boundless passion and energy he demonstrated for his work, family, and faith. Bill also shares spiritual experiences that allowed him to recognize God s guidance in his personal life, helping him bounce back from a life-threatening explosion in a freak boating accident which caused severe burns over his body.

Readers will learn the fascinating details about the successes and failures of Bill s business ventures and relate to his challenges of balancing roles as a CEO, a husband and father, and a man of faith. From his half-billion-dollar venture and bet-the-farm move to build the New York Marriott Marquis hotel, to the heartbreaking loss of an adult son whose body slowly degenerated from Mitochondrial Disease, to the billions of dollars donated to medical research, the biography of Bill Marriott tells the remarkable story of a man who had the vision to create a multi-billion dollar business, who understood the power of giving, and lived the creed that hard work will pay off but success is never final.

Editorial Reviews:

“Dale Van Atta’s insightful biography of Bill Marriott tells the story of one of America’s most conscientious and innovative business leaders. Bill Marriott, who told his top management staff,  We must break the glass ceiling, the black ceiling and any other damn ceiling that prevents women and minorities from advancing in our company to the best of their abilities. We must walk the talk and make it happen,  is a rare corporate leader who has embraced my father’s dream and supported his legacy. I wholeheartedly recommend this book to everyone who believes that business leaders can make a meaningful contribution to interracial understanding, goodwill and progress.” Martin Luther King III, global human rights activist

“For two generations we have viewed Bill Marriott as one of our most able competitors. Success Is Never Final helped me understand Bill’s success as a competitor and as one of the most remarkable businessmen of our times.”-Tom Pritzker, Executive Chairman, Hyatt Hotels Corp.

“Bill Marriott is one of the most caring and big-hearted people I know. I am a witness to his generosity, and I am thrilled that this fascinating biography will share the stories of his purposeful life with readers.”-Laura W. Bush, former First Lady of the United States

“This book confirms what I have seen firsthand: even more remarkable than Bill Marriott’s record of leading a business from 1 to 7,000 hotels, creating the largest hospitality company in the world, is the character he has imbued among its hundreds of thousands of managers and associates. Remarkably, Marriott International reflects the qualities of the man.” —Mitt Romney, United States Senator

“Bill Marriott is a great friend and his life is one filled with much success. His biography provides a look into the experiences and decisions that led to all his accomplishments. I have always been a great admirer of his leadership abilities and, equally as important, how he demonstrates the love and respect he has for his family.”-Joe Gibbs, Super Bowl-winning NFL coach

“In leadership and life, Bill Marriott demonstrates that true success is built not on the backs of others, but hand-in-hand beside them. Every chapter of this book demonstrates his courage, humility, faith and values in business and beyond. I’m in awe of all that he has accomplished as a philanthropist, business leader, father and friend, and I know you’ll come away from his story inspired to serve others as Bill has.” –Dr. John Noseworthy, former Mayo Clinic President and CEO

“I have admired my longtime friend Bill Marriott as a man of faith in God with conscience and heart, with love of family, friends and humanity who has applied this virtues in ‘worldwide hospitality.’ This biography bears my conclusion.”-Rabbi Arthur Schneier, President of Conscience Foundation, Rabbi at Park East Synagogue of NY

“One cannot know without reading Success is Never Final, the stress, the strain, the struggle, the drive and dedication that took a family name and made it an iconic American brand, a name recognized and respected in every corner of Earth. Their story, really, is a generational saga of a family, and of teams of dedicated employees, all tightly tethered to the best of values, and who together grew a root beer stand business into the largest hotelier in the world. Their story is an American enterprise classic.” —Gordon H. Smith, CEO National Association of Broadcasters

About the Author:

Dale Van Atta is a New York Times best selling author and journalist who has been nominated five times for the Pulitzer Prize.

For more than a decade, he co authored the world’s most widely-syndicated news column with Jack Anderson; their daily column appeared in the Washington Post and nearly 1,000 other newspapers, reaching 50 million readers. In fact, his name was once a clue in a New York Times crossword puzzle. Van Atta’s chief goal as an investigative journalist was to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable — especially unethical national legislators and presidential administration officials.

Van Atta was a long time Roving Editor for Reader’s Digest, and has been published in numerous other national publications. He has appeared on a variety of national television news shows and is an accomplished lecturer with speeches delivered in more than 40 states and 17 countries.

Van Atta has reported from all seven continents, including coverage of several wars. He has interviewed U.S. Congressional members, business icons, top military commanders, terrorists, and spies, as well as notable world leaders and six United States presidents.

His biographies have included hotelier Bill Marriott (Success Is Never Final); Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf (Stormin’ Norman: An American Hero); former Secretary of Defense Melvin Laird (With Honor).

While a student at Brigham Young University, he wrote the world’s fastest novel in a store window — 230 pages in 30 hours — as a fund raiser for a new library.

Van Atta lives in Ashburn, Va., with his wife of 47 years, Lynne. They have three children: Tara, Dylan and Kate, and five grandchildren.