Founder of MGM Resorts Kirk Kerkorian Dies
Photo courtesy of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority
Billionaire Kirk Kerkorian died Monday night in Los Angeles at the age of 98, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
The founder of MGM Resorts International, Kerkorian was one of the central figures who helped finance and create modern Las Vegas, building and opening the International (now the Westgate Las Vegas), the first MGM Grand (now Bally’s Las Vegas) and the current MGM Grand. Each hotel-casino was the largest at the time it was built.
Beyond founding MGM Resorts, Kerkorian also was instrumental in the development of CityCenter in Vegas, and he delved into various other industries throughout his career, including airlines, automobile making and film. He bought and sold Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer three times.
Kerkorian also created MGM/UA Home Entertainment, facilitated MGM Resorts’ acquisition of United Artists, sold the land that now houses Caesars Palace, bought and sold the Flamingo, bought the old Desert Inn and the Sands, negotiated the acquisitions of Mandalay Resort Group and Steve Wynn’s Mirage Resorts, and more.
Beyond his business endeavors, the accomplished financier was also known to be charitable, giving back to the community. In 2011, he gave $100 million to UCLA for medical research.
At the time of his death, Kerkorian was ranked No. 130 in the United States in net worth at $4 billion (Forbes Magazine). His company, Tracinda Corp., is currently MGM’s largest shareholder, owning an 18.6 percent stake.
Kerkorian will forever be known as one of the creators of what Las Vegas has now become. As if that wasn’t enough, he leaves being a legacy that was as diversified as it was lucrative.
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