Marriott on the Move



Monumental Courage and Conviction of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (originally posted for MLK memorial dedication Oct. 2011)

Posted: January 13, 2012 10:56:17 AM

My parents founded our company in 1927, nearly 30 years before the Civil Rights Movement.  It didn’t matter to them who or what you were, you were welcome.  Back then in the South, here in Washington, D.C., this was a courageous move. But they stuck to their beliefs.

Boardroom Photo

Martin Luther King, Jr. stood up for what he believed in.  I'm still amazed at how he was able to change the face of not just our great country, but of the world.  His courage and heroism continue to inspire me. (Dr. King's portrait is in our boardroom with a note from Coretta Scott King.)

Sunday October 16 was the official dedication of a memorial to Dr. King.  I was really proud Marriott associates were among the throngs of people from across the nation and around the world.  His beliefs of protesting using non-violent means for social change are evident today.  

Dr. King’s speeches and sermons combined themes of democracy deeply embedded in the American conscience, and reinvigorated these messages with clear and insightful reflections on the true meaning of justice and equality. 

Although I never met Dr. King, he is such an inspiration that I was honored to serve on the Martin Luther King Executive Leadership Council to help make this memorial a reality. 

I encourage you to visit the memorial to experience more than a monument, but a place dedicated to honoring a great humanitarian.   

I leave you with one of my favorite Dr. King quotes: “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”  

I’m Bill Marriott and thanks for helping me keep Marriott on the Move. 

(Leave a comment on your thoughts of Dr. King.)

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Posted By: Ivory Ross (10/20/2011 at 01:06 PM)

Mr. Marriott "Thank You" and the Marriott family for your insight and thoughtful words. It is much appreciated during these uncertain times in our great country. Your dedication and commitment to Dr. King's dream confirms that we are still a great nation which believes in social and economic justice for which Dr. King fought so diligently.

Posted By: Bev Norwood (10/20/2011 at 05:59 PM)

Your parents, by example, instilled in you the knowledge and conviction to do what is just and right for all individuals. Dr. King, by example, lead the way for each of us to be free, to reach out to others and to be mindful always of the greater good. May Dr. King's message and his example forever guide the way for each of us.

Posted By: Wayne Harropson (10/20/2011 at 08:26 PM)

Martin Luther King Jr was a Republican. I just thought You'd like to know that.

Posted By: John (10/20/2011 at 11:16 PM)

My favorite Dr. King quote comes from his "I Have a Dream" speech: "I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character."

Posted By: Ravikiran Bhadnari (10/21/2011 at 03:30 AM)

It surely is a great company that you have bill, please accept my very positive feedback about your hotel. I'm specifically talking about two places that I have stayed until last week in China; Marriott Beijing South East and Renaissance Putou Shanghai hotels. The staff there has been very courteous and made me feel at home.

I would like to mention specifically Catherine Lew - Director (rooms)@ Beijing and your reception staff Mr.Jeffrey at Shanghai Hotel.

Please convey my personal gratitude to them and all the best in their career. Such a staff will make staying at your property much more enjoyable.

Thank again
Ravikiran Bhandari
Marriott rewards member ( 090171190)

Posted By: Greg Doyle (10/21/2011 at 09:28 AM)

Thank you for your note regarding Dr. King! I echo your thoughts. Dr King was an inspiring leader because he had the ability to bring out the best in people by uniting them to the common cause of justice and peace. I wish today more of our leaders, along all political lines, would take a moment and reflect on those values. Dr. King moved this country forward in a positive direction and we should all feel grateful for his leadership! Thank you.

Posted By: Steven Tiller (10/21/2011 at 09:53 AM)

Such an inspiration to all!! He is one of many giants that gives today's generation a strong foundation to build off of.

Posted By: d mcdonald (10/21/2011 at 10:04 AM)

Mr. Marriott
thank you for blogging about Dr King. You impress with your commitment to greatness.

Posted By: Deborah Anderson (10/21/2011 at 10:34 AM)

Thank you Mr. Marriott for your kind words about Dr. King, and serving on the MLK Executive Leadership Council. You should all be proud of this great and inspiring memorial you helped make a reality.

The King quote you noted is a reminder to all to "Do the Right Thing", especially when it is difficult.

Posted By: Jodi Rubin (10/21/2011 at 03:27 PM)

Mr.Marriott ,your mother and father were pillars of society.They showed courage, grace and kindness before it was expected. They took care of the people that worked with them .I loved the fifteen years I spent with your company.I was honored.You must have made your father and mother very proud. I still adore you Mr.M.

Posted By: Zylun (10/21/2011 at 04:07 PM)

It's good to see that Dr. King's dream is alive and well today, and I'm glad that you are helping move that dream along. It will be a great day when all people are accepted for who they are rather than judged by what demographic they fit into, whether it be race, religion, etc.

Posted By: C Woodring (10/21/2011 at 05:37 PM)

This solemn moment in time will always be remembered by those who marched with Dr. King in the 60’s as well as those who attended this historical event. He is truly a hero to me and all.

Posted By: Elizabeth K. Liddicoat (10/23/2011 at 04:37 PM)

A remarkable man. Your comments, views, and involvement with this are impressive, respected, and appreciated.

Posted By: whitney miller (10/24/2011 at 08:10 PM)

I always knew that Marriott was one of the top companies for minorities, not because they are minorities, but because they were given the opportunity to shine.

Thank you

Posted By: marquita williams (10/26/2011 at 12:29 PM)

your blog made tears come to my eyes,earlier this year i watch on pbs about marriott and it was great
thank you

Posted By: Tammy J (10/26/2011 at 01:09 PM)

I appreciate your blog about Dr. King he is gone but not forgotten. Iam proud to be a part of my Marriott Family 26yrs and going strong.Thank You Mr. Marriott :) :)

Posted By: Cliff (10/26/2011 at 04:48 PM)

I love the Marriott brand and have stayed in the frequently when travelling to visit our two sons while they attended the Citadel in Charleston, SC. It is my preferred hotel. recently we stated in the Marriot R. in Seattle before and after a cruise- staff and room was wonderful. My wife is now trying to find the source for those beautiful and well-designed lighted vanity mirrors and it looks like they can be ordered from China in lots of 50 or more. Anyone aware of a US source for those mirriors- I would even buy one from Marriott if I could.

Posted By: Audrey Price (10/27/2011 at 11:14 AM)

I worked for PanAm at JFK and you, your brother and Dad would come through often. Your Dad and you two always ate at the Marriott food service court, never wanted to go to the club and talked to anyone who wanted to speak with you. We are a loyal Marriott family and encourage all our friends to be also. Your Dad was inspiring, as are you.

Posted By: Mary J. Shumate (10/27/2011 at 01:26 PM)

Wow! Once again the company I work for has made me proud. It was 1960 I had to sit in a corner alone not allowed to sit in the reading circle with my white class mates and now I have the opportunity to work for a company that respects and rewards diversity. "The Spirit to Serve" was part of Dr. King's legacy and the theme of our Culture Mr. Marriott and for that I thank you.

Posted By: ACE JONES (10/27/2011 at 03:56 PM)

Posted By: Wayne Harropson (10/20/2011 at 05:26 PM)

Martin Luther King Jr was a Republican. I just thought You'd like to know that.

Posted By: Gwendolyn Duncan (10/27/2011 at 09:44 PM)

Thank you so very much for your contributions in making the Monument to Dr. Martin Luther, Jr. a reality. May God bless you with peace, love, joy, long life, health, strength, and salvation, as you journey down this highway called, "Life", in Jesus Christ Name.

Posted By: Wayne Harropson (11/04/2011 at 08:25 AM)

I am so glad that you chose to actually post my Republican comment. I love facts from History that squash the meme's that are so deeply embedded in our culture. "Some memes may replicate effectively even when they prove to be detrimental to the welfare of their hosts." (From wikipedia) The meme that generated an objection to my post was just such a meme. I I don't expect you to post this, but thanks for reading.

Your admirer,
Wayne Harropson

A tutorial on such memes is found here:

I love the tone of your blog and absolutely trust your judgement in either editing my comments or simply deeming them for your eyes only. Again, thanks for reading. WH

Posted By: Billie and Todd Lemmiksoo (11/11/2011 at 06:58 PM)

Dear Mr. Marriott;
My husband and I always stay at Marriott Hotels, but I wanted to tell you about The Battle House Renaissance Mobile Hotel and Spa. It was one of the best Marriott Hotels we have every stayed at. The staff was exceptional and the Hotel was spotless and absolutely beautiful...magnificant really! The front desk was so friendly and helpful and our stay was just NOT long enough. We will definitely send others and go back ourselves. I know you get lots of emails about members of your organization, but George who was a waiter at the Concierge Hospitality Room was beyond a 10. He took time to tell us the history of the hotel (as I did ask) but still was able to keep track of other clients and take care of their needs. A real wizard. The manager at this hotel needs to be recognized for their wonderful management style. We have been staying at Marriotts for many many years and felt you should know about the "Mobile Star in AL" shinning bright and keeping Marriott way ahead of the pack!
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving and again, thank you for all you do.

Posted By: Amir Rehmat (01/13/2012 at 05:34 PM)

Mr. Marriott

Thank you for celebrating diversity and its privileges to the human kind. It takes great teachers like you and your parents to make us all appreciate and understand that pluralism is such a unique blessing for all of us.

Posted By: Frances Burton (01/13/2012 at 06:48 PM)

Mr. Marriott,

Would like to thank you for the information posted concerning Martin Luther King and also for allowing Wayne Harropson to comment again on his initial post. I'm African-American and Republican and I do think that MLK would do the proverbial 'turn in his grave' for all that's attributed to him and all he fought for during the Civil Rights Movement.

The comments to this entry are closed.


I'm Bill Marriott, Chairman & CEO of Marriott International.

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