During its three-quarters of a century, the Hotel Utah hosted hundreds of celebrities and politicians, including every U.S. president from William Howard Taft in 1912 to Ronald Reagan in the 1980s, the Web site www.hotelutah100.com reports. Here are 15 greats from the Hotel Utah's "Who's Who." (Read full list here.)
(August 4, 1901 – July 6, 1971)
Nicknamed Satchmo or Pops, Armstrong was an American jazz trumpeter and singer from New Orleans, La. Renowned for his charismatic stage presence and voice almost as much as for his trumpet-playing, Armstrong's influence extends well beyond jazz music, and by the end of his career in the 1960s, he was widely regarded as a profound influence on popular music in general.
(August 15, 1879 – June 18, 1959)
American actress and a member of the Barrymore family of actors.
Barrymore had a reservation the week the hotel made its debut. She was the first "big dramatic star to visit the house," the Deseret Evening News reported.
(June 24, 1895 – May 31, 1983)
Nicknamed "The Manassa Mauler," Dempsey was an American boxer who held the world heavyweight title from 1919 to 1926. Dempsey's aggressive style and exceptional punching power made him one of the most popular boxers in history. Many of his fights set financial and attendance records, including the first million dollar gate. He is listed #10 on The Ring's list of all-time heavyweights and #7 among its Top 100 Greatest Punchers. He is a member of the International Boxing Hall of Fame.
(May 12, 1907 – June 29, 2003)
An American actress of film, stage, and television. Favorable reviews of her work on stage in 1932 brought her to the notice of Hollywood. She earned Academy Awards for "Morning Glory," "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner," "The Lion in Winter," and "On Golden Pond."
(February 22, 1932 – August 25, 2009)
A United States Senator from Massachusetts and a member of the Democratic Party. Serving almost 47 years, he was the second most senior member of the Senate when he died and is the fourth-longest-serving senator in United States history.
From left, Wayne Owens, Edward M. Kennedy and Utah Governor Cal Rampton at the Hotel Utah in 1974.
(May 29, 1917 – November 22, 1963)
Often referred to by his initials JFK, Kennedy was the 35th President of the United States, serving from 1961 until his assassination in 1963. He was the youngest elected to the office, at the age of 43. Events during his presidency included the Bay of Pigs Invasion, the Cuban Missile Crisis, the building of the Berlin Wall, the Space Race, the African American Civil Rights Movement and early stages of the Vietnam War.
A local band and drill team await the arrival of the President at the Hotel Utah on Sept. 26, 1963.
(January 9, 1913 – April 22, 1994)
The 37th President of the United States, in office from 1969 to 1974. He served as the 36th Vice President of the United States from 1953 to 1961, the only person to be elected twice to both the Presidency and the Vice Presidency. A member of the Republican Party, he was the only President to resign from office.
Congressman Richard Nixon came to Salt Lake City for the first time on June 4, 1949 to address a group of newspaper editors at the Hotel Utah. Nixon earn the reputation of a communist fighter in his first term in Congress.
(April 5, 1916 – June 12, 2003)
One of 20th Century Fox's most popular film stars from the 1940s to the 1960s, Peck continued to play important roles well into the 1980s. His notable performances include that of Atticus Finch in the 1962 film "To Kill a Mockingbird," for which he won an Academy Award.
(January 8, 1935 – August 16, 1977)
One of the most popular American singers of the 20th century. A cultural icon, he is widely known by the single name Elvis. He is often referred to as the "King of Rock and Roll" or simply "the King."
(May 27, 1911 – October 25, 1993)
An American actor, well known for his distinctive voice and serio-comic attitude in a series of horror films made in the latter part of his career.
Vincent Price at the Hotel Utah in Salt Lake City on May 3, 1952.
(January 30, 1882 – April 12, 1945)
Also known by his initials, FDR, Roosevelt was the 32nd President of the United States (1933–1945) and a central figure in world events during the mid-20th century, leading the United States during a time of worldwide economic crisis and world war. The only American president elected to more than two terms, he facilitated a durable coalition that realigned American politics for decades.
(November 4, 1879 – August 15, 1935)
An American cowboy, comedian, humorist, social commentator, vaudeville performer and actor and one of the best-known celebrities in the 1920s and 1930s.
Although spiffily clad in this vintage photo, humorist Will Rogers needed to track down a coat and tie — required attire at the time — when he arrived to dine at Hotel Utah about 80 years ago. The tale of his encounter was retold in a centennial display, of which this image is a part, in the Joseph Smith Memorial Building lobby.
(February 18, 1909 – April 13, 1993)
An American historian, novelist, short story writer, and environmentalist, often called "The Dean of Western Writers." He won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1972.
(May 20, 1908 – July 2, 1997)
An American film and stage actor, known for his distinctive voice and his everyman persona. Over the course of his career, he starred in many films widely considered classics and was nominated for five Academy Awards, winning one in competition and receiving one Lifetime Achievement award.
Jimmy Stewart, at the Hotel Utah Feb. 24, 1984.
(July 20, 1938 – November 29, 1981)
Wood began acting in movies at the age of four and became a successful child actor in such films as "Miracle on 34th Street" in 1947. A well-received performance opposite James Dean in "Rebel Without a Cause" in 1955 earned her a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress and helped her to make the transition from a child performer. Wood drowned near Santa Catalina Island, Calif., at age 43.