Wilson, Kemmons

Wilson, (Charles) Kemmons

(1913–  ) entrepreneur, hotel executive; born in Osceola, Ark. A Memphis builder and realtor, he built his first Holiday Inn in 1952; his uniformly clean, dependable family motels replaced tourist courts on U.S. highways and transformed the lodging industry. By 1978 he had built the world's largest lodging chain. He retired in 1979.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.