Stewart W. Bainum, 94, died Feb. 12, 2014 following complications from pneumonia. Born in Detroit in 1919 Bainum opened his first hotel in Silver Spring, Md., in 1957, and went on to found Manor Care Inc. and Choice Hotels International, for which he served as Chairman and CEO from 1968-1987. For the remainder of his life he remained actively involved in his private real estate companies as well as leadership of The Commonweal Foundation, a philanthropic family foundation he and his wife founded in 1968. He is survived by his wife of 72 years, Jane Goyne Bainum.
"On behalf of the entire team at Choice Hotels we are deeply saddened by the loss of our founder and former longtime president and CEO, Stewart Bainum, Sr. who passed away this morning at the age of 94," said Steve Joyce, president and CEO, Choice Hotels International. "We offer our condolences to the Bainum family, including members of our board of directors, Stewart Bainum, Jr. and Scott Renschler.
"Choice's business began as a marketing cooperative formed by a group of seven Florida motor court owners in 1939. The group had five hotels in Florida, one in South Carolina, and one in Virginia. Already an owner of several hotels, Stewart Bainum, Sr. purchased a Quality brand hotel, and ultimately became a primary shareholder of the company. This company, founded and led by Stewart Bainum, Sr., became Choice Hotels International and has grown into one of the largest hospitality companies in the world with more than 6,300 hotels, representing 500,000 rooms worldwide.
"I am honored to lead Choice Hotels and honor Stewart’s legacy. He will be missed by the many lives he touched."