Meet the Hiltons: A who’s who of May cover star Paris Hilton’s famous family

The founding father of the Hilton dynasty is Conrad Hilton, the great-grandfather of Paris. One of seven children, he was the son of Norwegian immigrants, and learned business from his father who ran a grocery store in New Mexico. After serving in France during World War I, he returned to the US and moved to Texas, where he bought his first hotel: it was so successful, he ended up having to convert dining rooms into more bedrooms. He went on to buy more hotels in the state before going nationwide, eventually purchasing the famed Waldorf Astoria in New York for $3 million. He was married three times – first to Mary Adelaide Barron, with whom he had three children (Conrad Jr., William Barron, and Eric Michael); second to the Hollywood star Zsa Zsa Gabor, with whom he had one daughter (Constance Francesca Hilton Gabor) and thirdly to Mary Frances Kelly. One of the richest men in the US, on his death in 1979 he left just $500,000 to his two surviving sons, William and Eric, and $100,000 to his daughter Constance, with the rest going to his namesake charitable foundation. According to the New York Times he wrote in his will: ‘Charity is a supreme virtue, and the great channel through which the mercy of God is passed onto mankind.’