John Willard Marriott started his Marriott Hotel Corporation after launching a root beer stand in 1927 in Washington, D.C. A string of family restaurants followed. He then opened the first Marriott hotel in 1957.
“A man should keep on being constructive, and do constructive things. He should take part in the things that go on in this wonderful world. He should be someone to be reckoned with. He should live life and make every day count, to the very end. Sometimes it's tough. But that's what I'm going to do,” Marriott said before his death in 1985.