Paris loses out: Hilton fortune pledged to charity

Wed Dec 26, 2007 3:39pm EST
 
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By Michelle Nichols

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Hotel heiress Paris Hilton's potential inheritance dramatically diminished after her grandfather Barron Hilton announced plans on Wednesday to donate 97 percent of his $2.3 billion fortune to charity.

That wealth includes $1.2 billion Barron Hilton stands to earn from both the recent sale of Hilton Hotels Corp. -- started by his father Conrad in 1919 when he bought a small hotel in Cisco, Texas -- and pending sale of the world's biggest casino company, Harrah's Entertainment Inc.

That money will be placed in a charitable trust that will eventually benefit the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, raising its total value to about $4.5 billion, the foundation said in a statement.

Barron Hilton, chairman of the foundation, intends "to contribute 97 percent of his entire net worth, estimated today at $2.3 billion, including the created trusts, at whatever value it is at the time of his passing," the foundation said.

Paris Hilton was not immediately available for comment on her grandfather's plans for his fortune.

Jerry Oppenheimer, who profiled the Hilton family in his 2006 book "House of Hilton," has said Barron Hilton is embarrassed by the behavior of his socialite granddaughter Paris and believes it has sullied the family name.

Barron Hilton, who is 80, has not commented on Oppenheimer's remarks.

The foundation supports projects that provide clean water in Africa, education for blind children, and housing for the mentally ill. Its aims, based on Conrad Hilton's will, are "to relieve the suffering, the distressed and the destitute."   Continued...

 
<p>U.S. socialite Paris Hilton poses in Berlin December 13, 2007. Hilton's potential inheritance dramatically diminished after her grandfather Barron Hilton announced plans on Wednesday to donate 97 percent of his $2.3 billion fortune to charity. REUTERS/Johannes Eisele</p>