Hotelier, philanthropist and Los Angeles Chargers founder Barron Hilton died on Thursday, Sept. 19 of natural causes at his home in Los Angeles. He was 91. 

His son, Steven M. Hilton, who serves as chairman of the board at the Hilton Foundation, said the family is mourning the loss of a remarkable man. “My father was a loving husband to our mother, Marilyn, a wonderful role model to his eight children, a loyal and generous friend, visionary businessman, respected leader, and a passionate sportsman. He lived a life of great adventure and exceptional accomplishment.”

Paris Hilton, Barron Hilton’s granddaughter, also reflected on his death, writing, “I am deeply saddened by the loss of my grandfather Barron Hilton. He was a Legend, a visionary, brilliant, handsome, kind, and lived a life full of accomplishment and adventure. Ever since I was a little girl I have looked up to him as a businessman.”

Hilton first assumed presidency of the Hilton Hotels corporation in 1966, succeeding his father and helping to expand the hotel business to the empire it is today. Hilton retired in 1996, although he remained chairman of the board as his successor focused on mergers and acquisitions.

The NFL paid tribute to Hilton on Friday.

“Simply put, the modern NFL would not be what it is today without the vision of Barron Hilton,” said Dean Spanos, who now owns the Chargers franchise. “A founding father and charter member of the upstart AFL’s sarcastically self-dubbed ‘Foolish Club,’ Barron was a pioneering leader, risk-taking entrepreneur, prolific philanthropist, devoted family man and, of course, anything but foolish. … It seems fitting that we celebrate a life extraordinarily well-lived the same year as we recognize the Chargers 60th anniversary season since without Barron, there would be no Chargers.”

Barron is survived by his 2 daughters, 6 sons, 15 grandkids and 4 great-grandchildren.

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