Book Review: Bill Marriott

Book Review Bill Marriott Success is Never Final. Christian adult nonfiction book. Author Dale Van Atta. Christian Book Reviewer Shirley Alarie.
Book Review Bill Marriott Success is Never Final. Christian adult nonfiction book. Author Dale Van Atta. Christian Book Reviewer Shirley Alarie.
Published: 9/3/2019
Goodreads Rating: 4.11
Bill Marriott, son of J. Williard Marriott who opened a root-beer stand that grew into the Hot Shoppes Restaurant chain and evolved into the Marriott hotel company, grew up in the family business. In his more than fifty years at the company’s helm, Bill Marriott was the driving force behind growing Marriott into the world’s largest global hotel chain. His vision and leadership expanded the family business to more than 6,500 properties across 127 countries…

A Christian Business Mogul?

What does it take to grow an empire from the ground up? How can a Christian be a hungry business mogul?

Bill Marriott – Success is Never Final: His Life and the Decisions that Built a Hotel Empire is a behind-the-scenes look at one such company and one such man.

A Detailed Account:

When I say detailed, I mean “detailed”. Van Atta describes what some might consider minutia details and others might consider fascinating. Covering the family history of Bill Marriott’s great grandmother’s immigration from England for religious reasons is one example that some might consider trivial, but I personally found interesting, especially because I was interested in the religious aspects of this book.

The history of the Mormon religion called the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (LDS) is also covered in interesting detail.

The book itself contains great detail, some of which left me confused with all the names of different people and their relationship to each other, whether within the family or the business.

Sneak Peek Behind the Scenes:

Success Is Never Final is a fascinating look behind the boardroom door. To see the decisions, the turmoil, and the risks associated with continual corporate growth, and the damage control and adjustments that must be made during times of economic struggle, gives an appreciation for what it takes to be an industry leader.

Two business stories I found particularly interesting were the concept behind the Courtyard hotel brand and the partnership between Marriott and Pepsi that was established when Pepsi stepped in to help.

A Charmed Life:

For “humble” Christians, the Marriotts enjoyed the benefits of wealth, influence, and connections with politicians, namely many presidents, among other celebrities and dignitaries. It’s clear that Bill Marriott and his father were hard-working, driven men who earned the fruits of their labor.


As supposed Christians, I was pleased to read the philanthropic aspects of the Marriott corporation, such as their community service programs, their family charities, and their minimum 10% tithing to the church.

Christian accounts:

There are several significant references to miraculous events and the importance of Christianity in the Marriott family. Two cases were when Bill’s life was spared (twice) and the recovery of a grandson who was certain to die.

There are many references to Christianity, but they’re small bits within a book about a family building an empire.

How this book affected me:

I’m not a huge biography fan, even though its cousin, memoir, is my favorite genre. But I chose to read this book about Mr. Marriott because the synopsis spoke of the business tycoon’s Christian faith. As a Christian who’s worked for large corporations and results-driven executives, I was curious to see how these seemingly incongruous aspects could mesh.

I wasn’t disappointed. Christian aspects of Bill Marriott’s life were sprinkled among the amazing and impressive story of building the Marriott empire. I saw that a hungry business mogul can have a Christian heart. He was characterized as “a humble servant of our Heavenly Father” and by the end of the book, I felt that could be true.

Who would enjoy this book:

Anyone who loves biography, business, or Christian genres or anyone with an interest in the hospitality industry would enjoy this book. It’s also a story of overcoming adversity and family strife.

Our Christian Book Reviews:

The BOOK REVIEWS at Finding God Among Us focus on Christian books - adult and children, fiction and nonfiction. We're proud to be included in the Top 50 Christian Book Review Bloggers. I chose to read an ARC from Shadow Mountain Publishing. This review is my honest opinion.

Meet the Author:

Dale Van Atta is a New York Times best-selling author and journalist who has been nominated five times for the Pulitzer Prize. For more than a decade, he co-authored the world’s most widely syndicated news column appeared in the Washington Post and nearly 1,000 other newspapers, reaching 50 million readers. Please refer Mr. Van Atta's AUTHOR PAGE to learn more.

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Reviewer - Shirley Alarie

Shirley Alarie began writing adult and children's books to benefit two causes she loves. 'Hope in the Hood' portrays the incredible story of Colleen Adams providing hope and help to disenfranchised inner-city youth. 'A Healing Haven' showcases the amazing work of Shawn Jayroe and her incredible volunteers at RVR Horse Rescue. Children's books 'A New Friend for Gilbert' and the Dominick the Donkey 2-part series are based on real animals and events at RVR. Now Shirley writes for Jesus - including children's books, her FindingGodAmongUs blog, and as a Christian adult and children's book reviewer. Sign up to receive reviews of hot-off-the-press Christian and Children's releases. Need a freelance writer? Check her out.

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