May 27 John Q. Hammons, a U.S. real estate
developer who built a hotel empire and became a leading
philanthropist in his native Missouri, has died at age 94, his
Hammons died on Sunday at the Elfindale Manor nursing home
in Springfield, Missouri, a statement on the John Q. Hammons
Hotels & Resorts website said.
His company became the largest private, independent owner
and manager of upscale hotels in the United States and now runs
78 hotels, the statement said. His hotels include such brands as
Embassy Suites, Marriott and IHG.
During his career, Hammons developed 210 hotel properties in
40 states, it said.
Hammons grew up in Fairview, Missouri, during the Great
Depression. He earned a degree from Southwest Missouri State
Teachers College and was a junior high school teacher and
After World War Two service, Hammons became a real estate
developer in Springfield, in southwest Missouri. He built the
city's first suburban housing and moved on to apartment
complexes and shopping centers.
Hammons donated hundreds of millions of dollars to
Springfield and organizations such as the city's Hammons Heart
Institute and the Hammons School of Architecture at Drury
Although his given first name was James, Hammons used the
name "John Q." when he introduced himself to politicians or
organizations to show that he was representing the general
public, as in the proverbial John Q. Public. The name stuck, and
he became known as John Q. Hammons, the statement said.
Hammons is survived by his wife of 64 years, Juanita.