Founding his own interior design practice in 1964, Howard Hirsch became principal of one of the world's largest and most influential firms specializing in hotel design. A former student at the Art Institute of Chicago and a graduate of the Sorbonne and the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, he spent several years abroad working as an artist and designer before embarking on his design career in the early 1960s.
Hirsch/Bedner & Associates, headquartered in Santa Monica, employed 165 professionals at its home base and branch operations in Atlanta and Hong Kong. Although the firm worked extensively in the United States, as evidenced by its renovation and restoration of the mammoth Chicago Hilton, a growing percentage of its commissions involved work abroad. Completed projects include the 960-room Tokyo Ana in Japan, the 505-room Pan Pacific in Vancouver, the Sheraton Tower in Singapore and the Hyatt-on-Collins in Melbourne, Australia. On the drawing boards at the time of his induction to the Hall of Fame were new hotels in Beijing and Shanghai, China and Hyatt Regencies in Cologne and Jerusalem.