Kerkorian was born poor but went to become one of the richest people of the world using gambling instinct
Kirk Kerkorian, the billionaire investor, casino tycoon, Hollywood Mogul and airline owner, died in Los Angeles on Monday night. He was 98.
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Born in June 6, 1917, Kerkorian was the son of the poor Armenian Immigrants who dropped out of school at age of 16 and started as a small-time boxer. Kerkorian had a gambling instinct which he used on various ventures like casinos and film studios and went on to become a rich and powerful personality.
In the history, Kerkorian name will always be mentioned among those visionaries who helped shape Las Vegas, a 24 hour open gambling hub and a tourist attraction. He owned some of the biggest hotels and casinos in the city and also built world largest hotel in Las Vegas three times, in 1969, 1973 and 1993.
“In an industry that thrives on innovation, Kirk Kerkorian was a pioneer who set a high standard for gaming and elevated Las Vegas stature with each move he made.” Geoff Freeman, chief executive of American Gaming Assn said.
Kerkorian was one of the most influential personalities in Hollywood. He bought and sold MGM film studio three times, also had shares in United Artists studio and tried to buy Columbia Pictures.
In 1987, Kerkorian started a luxury airline under the name of MGM Grand Air with focus on VIP operations. By the 1994, the airline was became unprofitable and Kerkorian decided to sell it off. He also bought and sold Western Airlines and lost a bid for Trans World Airlines.
Kerkorian bought small shares in some of the largest automaker companies like General Motors and Ford Motor Company but the tactic did not really pay off.
In 2008, Kerkorian’s net worth was $16 billion, based on the numbers provided by Forbes, which made him the 41st richest person in the world and the richest person of California at that time. Last month, his wealth tumbled to an estimated $4.2 billion, according to the magazine.
Kerkorian was a media shy person who very rarely gives interview and seldom seen in public. He married thrice in his life. His second wife Jean Maree Hardy was a dancer and choreographer in Las Vegas with whom he had two daughters Tracy and Linda. His third marriage was with a professional tennis player Lisa Bonder, which lasted only one month.
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