← Back to JDoC Florida

About Henri Landwirth

Henri Landwirth (1927-2018) was born in Antwerp, Belgium to a Jewish family. Between the ages of 13 and 18, he was sent to five concentration camps, including Auschwitz and Mauthausen. After the war, Landwirth moved to America. From 1954, he managed the Starlight Hotel in Cocoa Beach, which accommodated the needs of the growing space program in Florida, and in 1969, he opened his first Holiday Inn franchise. Later in life, Landwirth opened the Give Kids the World Village in Orlando, which offers a week-long, cost-free vacation for children suffering from life-threatening illnesses together with their families. In 2000, after a visit to a homeless shelter, Landwirth established Dignity U Wear, providing clothing for families in need. Henri Landwirth’s incredible life story is the subject of a biography by W. Halamandaris, Love & Hate: The Story of Henri Landwirth (2007), and some of his life experiences were featured in the documentary films, Borrowing Time (2006) and Loving Henri (2016) directed by Robert Allen Black.