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Kemmons Wilson

Born: 1913

As is often the case with successful business ideas, Wilson's business grew out of the dissatisfaction he experienced with family accommodations for holiday travel. He had already begun businesses in slot machines and movie theaters, but his idea for the Holiday Inn would be his best-known business. He opened the first Holiday Inn motel in Memphis (1952), quickly adding others to create an entire hotel chain, going international in 1960. Wanting to ensure consistent quality of service across his locations, he opened a school in 1959.

Died: 2003

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