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: Brenda Karnes (01/14/2012 at 07:20 AM)

Enjoyed your comments regarding Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr who is, in my view, one of the great American and,indeed, World heroes. I admire the respect that you and the Marriott organization have given to Dr. King's cause and legacy. Just another reason to love Marriott!

Posted By: Wayne Harropson (01/16/2012 at 01:15 PM)

You may like this:
Thanks to Gary Aminoff for providing the link.

Posted By: Wayne Harropson (01/16/2012 at 01:17 PM)

Quotes from
Martin Luther King, Jr.

"Faith is taking the first step even when you can't see the whole staircase."

"In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends."

"If you can't fly then run, if you can't run then walk, if you can't walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward."

"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."

"Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity."

"Intelligence plus character-that is the goal of true education."

"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere."

"If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as a Michaelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, 'Here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well."

"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."

From Gary Aminoffs Forum

Posted By: Tom Osterman (02/21/2012 at 04:11 PM)

I was in my early thirties when we moved to New Orleans, LA. We had never spent more than a day at any one time in the southern part of the country. We lived there the entire decade of the 60's. It was the most vibrant and incredible decade and my wife and I were children in the 30's depression and 40's World War II. But the 60's equaled it for memories and learning.

The Civil Rights movement was in full swing. We had never known or realized how deeply committed the south was to segregation of the races until we moved there.

Two simple incidents convinced me that segregation was doomed and Martin Luther King, Ralph Abernathy and Fred Shuttlesworth would be successful in enabling African Americans to become "free at last."

The first incident was a very large white billboard that I noticed from a far distance driving between Little Rock and Indianola Miss. that had what appeared to be a large black dot in the center of all that white space. As I got within 200 yards or so, I could make out it was something written where the dot was. As I passed the billboard it read: "BOY! drop out of school and that's what they will call you the rest of your life." I can only imagine the courageous author of that billboard at a time when everything was intense.

But the confirming incident was in the Atlanta Airport. I had to change planes and stepped into a shop to buy a paper. On the front page was a story about Dr. King. As I tendered payment to the woman behind the counter I remarked to her about the article on Dr. King. She replied to me: "Oh, you mean our Martin Luther." She said it in an endearing way so that I would know the people (white and black) in Atlanta wanted everyone to know he belonged to them, even though by then he belonged to the whole country. The woman was in her 50's I would have guessed, so I knew then that segregation was doomed and African Americans in King's own words would be "free at last."

It was the most riveting period of our lives.

The comments to this entry are closed.


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

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