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OBITUARIES / PASSINGS / Gregory R. Dillon

Hilton hotel executive

February 21, 2009|TIMES WIRE REPORTS

Gregory R. Dillon, 86, a Hilton Hotels Corp. executive who was a confidant of company founder Conrad Hilton and chief executive Barron Hilton, died Wednesday at his Los Angeles home, according to a statement from a company publicist. A cause of death was not given.

Dillon, a retired Hilton vice chairman and director emeritus, was born in Chicago on Aug. 26, 1922. He served in the Army Air Forces during World War II then earned a law degree from DePaul University. In 1950, he was hired by the legal firm that was general counsel to the Hilton corporation.

He worked closely with the corporation for the next 13 years and was instrumental in a 1954 merger with the Statler hotel chain for $111 million, a then-unprecedented price for a real estate transaction. He joined the Hilton corporation in 1963 as an assistant to Conrad Hilton.

He traveled around the world to negotiate Hilton management contracts and established a corporate properties division that oversaw planning, financing and construction of Hilton projects.

He later held other executive posts and in 1977 was elected to the corporation's board of directors. He was named vice chairman and director emeritus in 1996.

In 1994, he became director of the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation.

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