Greg Dillon, long-time Hilton executive, close confidant of Barron Hilton and legend in the hotel real estate industry, died Wednesday at his home in Los Angeles at age 86.

His ties to Hilton Hotels go back to 1950, when he joined a Chicago law firm that represented the company. First with founder Conrad Hilton and later CEO Barron Hilton, Dillon was directly involved in many of Hilton’s transactions, including its 1954 merger with the Statler chain and its launch of Hilton International 10 years later. He joined the company in 1963 as an assistant to Conrad and negotiator of Hilton’s initial management contracts. He established a corporate properties division and oversaw all real estate and franchising.

In 1971, Dillon was named corporate senior vice president and executive VP of Hilton Inns. Six years later, he joined Hilton’s board of directors, and between 1983 and 1993 he headed development and operations for the Conrad International chain. He was elected vice chairman in 1990 and in 1996, was named vice chairman and director emeritus.

Dillon remained active in the industry following his retirement and was a frequent attendee at hotel real estate conferences, such as the New York University International Hospitality Investment Conference.