Kirk Kerkorian created the Las Vegas we know today. At one point he was the 41st richest person in the world. Despite his significant philanthropic efforts worldwide he shunned the limelight, refused awards and never agreed to have anything he has donated to be named after him. Mr Kerkorian passed away in 2015.
Born in Fresno, California, in 1917 to immigrant parents who escaped the Genocide.
Claim to fame
Kerkorian built some of the world’s largest hotels. He is credited with leading the development of Las Vegas hotels and casinos into what they are today – after all, he built many of them. He was also the owner of the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer movie studios. A savvy investor, he also became involved in the car industry, owning significant shares of Ford Motor Company and Chrysler.
He was, at one time, the richest man in Los Angeles, and continues to be among the richest in the world. He has been an avid philanthropist and recently donated $200 million to the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) to establish the DREAM Fund and other programs at the school.
What he said
"You have to ask a lot of questions and listen to people, but eventually, you have to go by your own instincts."
"When you're a self-made man you start very early in life…You get a drive that's a little different, maybe a little stronger, than somebody who inherited."
What others said
“The man often considered to be the Father of Las Vegas…” – Las Vegas Sun
“Kerkorian is a legend and a casino pioneer in the development of mega-resorts in Las Vegas.” – Las Vegas Sun
“…Father of the Las Vegas mega-resort.” – Las Vegas Review-Journal