He was born on April 15, 1959, in Washington, DC, and grew up in Chevy Chase, Maryland. He was educated at St. Albans, a private boy’s school, and earned his bachelor’s degree from Brigham Young University. He also earned a master’s degree in business administration from Arizona State University in 1985.
Stephen began experiencing health challenges as a child, including fatigue and hearing loss, and while serving as a missionary, blindness. He was diagnosed with mitochondrial disease, a rare muscular disease.
At the age of 16, he started his professional life within the family business as a cook at Roy Rogers Restaurant. His other assignments included housekeeping, banquets, marketing, sales, accounting, and hotel manager. By 1991, he was director of resort marketing at the corporate headquarters in Bethesda, Maryland. Beginning in 1996, Stephen chaired the Marriott Business Councils worldwide, which promotes company culture, community service, and public policy. In May 2013, he received the council’s top award, which has been renamed in his honor. According to his father, “He was completely convinced that the company culture was our greatest competitive advantage with customers and associates. He was passionate about the core values of putting people first and providing opportunities for everyone in the company.”
In 2004, he received the company’s highest honor, the J. Willard Marriott Award of Excellence. Since 2006, Stephen had been executive vice president for culture. He used a voice-activated computer system to respond to mail his assistant read to him. He also memorized speeches. His father considered him to take over the company when he retired, but Stephen’s health continued to deteriorate. He died on June 23, 2013.
Stephen served on boards such as the American Foundation for the Blind. He was the 2008 recipient of the Helen Keller Achievement Award. he also served on the board of the American Speech, Hearing, and Language Association Foundation as well as the National Institutes of Deafness and Communication Disorders. He served on the Marriott Foundation for People with Disabilities and the J. Willard and Alice S. Marriott Foundation.
He served on the National Capital Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America. He was an Eagle Scout.
He and his wife, Juliana Baughman Marriott, are the parents of three children. He was a lifelong member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.