Local Native Who Co-Founded La Quinta Dies At 84

Sam Barshop and his wife, Ann. (UT photo/file)

SAN ANTONIO (December 10, 2013) Sam Barshop, the Waco native who, with his brother, used $45,000 in borrowed money to launch the La Quinta Inns & Suites hotel chain and then later committed himself to philanthropy, has died at the age of 84.

Barshop died Monday in San Antonio.

He was born on Sept. 11, 1929 in Waco, attended high school at the Texas Military Institute and received a BBA in International Trade in 1951 from the University of Texas at Austin.

From 1951 to 1954 he served as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force.

Barshop and brother Philip, who died in 1998, opened their first two La Quintas in time for San Antonio's 1968 HemisFair.

The hotel chain, one of the first to target corporate travelers, has grown to more than 800 properties across North America.

Barshop also supported a variety of causes in education, medicine and Jewish-related organizations.

The Barshop name graces several San Antonio buildings, including a natatorium on the campus of the University of the Incarnate Word.

He also served on a number of corporate boards, including that of Southwest Airlines.

He served as a UT regent, a member of the Board of Trustees of the Texas Biomedical Research Institute, a member of the Board of Trustees of the University of Incarnate Word, and as a member of the Advisory Board of the Southwest Texas State University College of Business Administration.

He held the Roy F. and Joanne Cole Mitte Endowed Chair of Entrepreneurship at Southwest Texas.