Paris Hilton's paternal grandfather, Barron Hilton, has announced that he will contribute $1.2 billion of the proceeds from the sale of Hilton Hotels Corporation and Harrah’s Entertainment to a unitrust to benefit the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, a charity established by his father over 60 years ago.
“Speaking for the family as well as the foundation, we are all exceedingly proud and grateful for this extraordinary commitment,” said his son, Steven M. Hilton, President and CEO of the Foundation. “Working to alleviate human suffering around the globe, regardless of race, religion or geography, is the mandate of the foundation set by my grandfather, Conrad Hilton, and now reinforced by my father, Barron Hilton.”
Conrad established his charitable Foundation in 1944, “to relieve the suffering, the distressed, and the destitute” on a global scale. More than half of the grants are given to international initiatives. The Foundation has contributed over $560 million worldwide to date.
In West Africa, the Foundation has worked with partners like World Vision, UNICEF, WaterAid and The Carter Center to increase access to safe water by providing wells, alternative water systems and latrines, resource centers and training on hygiene to reduce the incidence of blinding trachoma and guinea worm. In Mexico, it supports an organization called Alternativas y Procesos de Participacion Social to develop potable water sources.
Other initiatives the Hilton Foundation support include program development and teacher training for the blind, housing for homeless who are mentally ill, social service projects provided by the Catholic Sisters, and care and services for disabled babies and their families.
Additionally, the Conrad N. Hilton Humanitarian Prize, at $1.5 million, brings together leaders to look at solutions to providing aid to needy populations, and is donated annually “to a charitable organization that is doing extraordinary work in relieving suffering.”
Barron Hilton also announced that he will contribute 97 percent of his entire net worth to benefit the Foundation, at whatever value it is at the time of his passing. It is currently estimated at $2.3 billion.