Skip Main Navigation

Meet Our Founders

Photo of Marriott Founders
J. Williard Marriott
Alice Sheets Marriott
Bill Marriott
Portrait of J. Willard Marriott

In 1927, J. Willard Marriott opened the nine-stool root beer stand that grew into the Hot Shoppes Restaurant chain and evolved into today’s Marriott International hotel company. For the next 58 years, he built the Marriott brand on a foundation of guiding principles that remain embedded in the company’s culture today. 

Read J. Willard Marriott’s full bio

Portrait of Alice Sheets Marriott

Alice Sheets was J. Willard Marriott’s essential partner in both life and business. She had a hands-on role in helping the Marriott company grow, and her volunteer spirit is celebrated each year through the Alice S. Marriott Award for Community Service. 

Read Alice Sheets Marriott’s full bio

Portrait of Bill Marriott

Raised in the family business, J.W. “Bill” Marriott, Jr. developed an early passion for hospitality. In his more than 50 years at the company’s helm, he built Marriott into a global lodging company with nearly 4,000 properties in more than 70 countries. 

Read J.W. Marriott, Jr.’s full bio


 

Hot Shoppe

Taking care of customers at the first Hot Shoppe at 14th & Kenyon, 1927.

Curbettes provided car-side service

"Curbettes" provided car-side service at the Connecticut Avenue Hot Shoppe in 1936.

Soldiers and their dates

Soldiers and their dates dine on burgers and shakes at a Hot Shoppe, December 1941.

J. Willard Marriott tests propeller-side service

J. Willard Marriott tests propeller-side service at the 14th Street Bridge Hot Shoppe, June 1956.

Enjoying in-car dining, 1952.

Enjoying in-car dining, 1952.

Bill Marriott provides personalized directions to guests.

Bill Marriott provides personalized directions to guests at the new Twin Bridges Marriott Motor Hotel, 1957.

Woodrow Marriott celebrates the Junior Hot Shoppe in Philadelphia's Progress Plaza

Woodrow Marriott celebrates the Junior Hot Shoppe in Philadelphia's Progress Plaza, the first African-American owned shopping center in the United States, with members of the Plaza's and the Shoppe's management teams, December 1968.

Bill Marriott and Egyptian President Anwar Sadat

Mortar Diplomacy! Bill Marriott and Egyptian President Anwar Sadat spread mortar for the company's 1st hotel in Africa and its 2nd in the Middle East in 1979.

Celebrating Marriott's 25th year in the hotel business.

Celebrating Marriott's 25th year in the hotel business, J. Willard and Bill Marriott cut the maile lei to open the company's 100th hotel in Maui, Hawaii.