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Hilton on Charity

Hilton on Charity

A remarkable statement about the nature of charity entered the public domain after hotel chain founder Conrad N. Hilton died on January 3, 1979, in Santa Monica, California. As the founder and head of Hilton hotels, Mr. Hilton was a very financially-rich man. A portion of his will revealed that he had begun to measure the riches of a man or woman in other ways. In his will, Mr. Hilton bequeathed property to the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation. He also described the nature of charity as follows.

Cherished Conclusions

In his will, Mr. Hilton introduced his description of the nature of charity as follows: "I bequeath some cherished conclusions formed during a lifetime of observation, study, and contemplation[.]"

Natural Law

In his will, Mr. Hilton referred to natural law as follows: "There is a natural law, a Divine law, that obliges you and me to relieve the suffering, the distressed and the destitute. Charity is a supreme virtue, and the great channel through which the mercy of God is passed on to mankind. It is the virtue that unites men and inspires their noblest efforts."


In his will, Mr. Hilton referred to love as follows: "'Love one another, for that is the whole law'; so our fellowmen deserve to be loved and encouraged--never to be abandoned to wander alone in poverty and darkness. The practice of charity will bind us, --will bind all men in one great brotherhood."

Beware of Professional Charities

In his will, Mr. Hilton cautioned about the nature of professional charities as follows: "As the funds you will expend have come from many places in the world, so let there be no territorial, religious, or color restrictions on your benefactions, but beware of organized, professional charities with high-salaried executives and a heavy ratio of expense."

Shelter Little Children

In his will, Mr. Hilton concluded his remarks about charity as follows: "Be ever watchful for the opportunity to shelter little children with the umbrella of your charity; be generous to their schools, their hospitals and their places of worship. For, as they must bear the burdens of our mistakes, so are they in their innocence the repositories of our hopes for the upward progress of humanity."

Copyright 2012 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc.

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