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J.W Marriott Essay

1328 words - 5 pages

John Willard MarriottSeptember 17, 1900 - August 13, 1985Born on September 17, 1900 in Marriott Settlement, Utah, as the eldest son of a poor farmer, J.W. Marriott was said to have learned to ride a horse before he could walk. Early in his upbringing, Marriott was held to a very strict and high standard of conduct from his father. His father also gave him responsibility at an early age making him a sheepherder on the farm to help his family. At the age of 19, he preached the gospel as a Mormon missionary around the New England area. Once Marriott completed his mission, he traveled through Washington D.C. on his way back to Utah and thought how great of an opportunity it would be to sell A&W root beer there during the hot summer days. Unfortunately, at this time he had to put this idea on hold, as the country was under the Great Depression and all the money the family had was needed to pay off loans to the banks.Marriott experienced poverty throughout his childhood and vowed to go back to school and create a better living. Although, Marriott did not complete grade school, he managed to talk his way into Weber Junior College and ironically his 7th grade teacher became the president of the school and offered him a job teaching theology. Marriott's tuition was paid through his teaching and he managed to do quite well. He went on to graduate from Weber at the top of his class and started attending the University of Utah. With one year remaining in his studies, he returned to the farm to help his father herd 3,000 additional sheep and put school on hold once again. At the age of 26, he returned to the University and there he fell in love with Alice Sheets, who would later become his wife.Marriott finished his final year and graduated with a degree in Political Science. He then went on to open his first A&W root beer stand in Washington, D.C. and later a second stand with partner Hugh Colton. This venture was a great success, but as the season ended and headed into winter, he was advised to shut down until spring and take a vacation due to root beer sales dropping severely in the winter season. Instead of closing down the business during the winter season, Marriott asked to be the first to sell food in the A&W franchise and named it the Hot Shoppe. Using his father's high standards of conduct as a guide, he brought fear to his employees, as he would inspect the restaurants unannounced with his famous "white gloves." His high level of attention to detail made employees stand on their toes and be at their very best or else they would not be allowed to work that day.After only five years in business, Marriott was close to being a Millionaire. He worked so much doctors diagnosed him with an incurable cancer and gave him just a year to live. But as a man strong in his religion, Marriott went for prayer and had amazingly been fully cured of the cancer. Marriott was not the first to develop groundbreaking ideas in the restaurant business, but he...

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