The Los Angeles-based Conrad N. Hilton Foundation has announced that its chairman, Barron Hilton, will contribute $1.2 billion from the sale of Hilton Hotels Corporation and the pending sale of Harrah's Entertainment to a charitable remainder unitrust that will eventually benefit the foundation. The foundation also announced that Hilton has informed the board he will contribute 97 percent of his net worth — estimated today at $2.3 billion — to the foundation when he dies.
With his commitment, Barron Hilton follows in the footsteps of his father, Conrad Hilton, who established the foundation in 1944 and left virtually all of his fortune to it when he died in 1979. The foundation concentrates most of its funding on major long-term projects such as preventing blindness, providing water and sanitation systems for villagers in developing countries, helping to prevent drug abuse among youth, and providing supportive housing for the mentally ill homeless and homeless mothers and children in the United States.
In keeping with Conrad Hilton's directive that the foundation have a global reach, more than 50 percent of its grants annually are directed to international initiatives. Since its inception, the foundation has committed more than $560 million to charitable work. Barron Hilton's gift and commitment guarantee that the work of the foundation will continue and expand, and supports the foundation's grantmaking strategy of funding for the long-term.
"Speaking for the family as well as the foundation, we are all exceedingly proud and grateful for this extraordinary commitment," said Steven M. Hilton, president and CEO of the foundation. "Working to alleviate human suffering around the globe, regardless of race, religion, or geography, is the mandate of the foundation set by my grandfather, Conrad Hilton, and now reinforced by my father, Barron Hilton."