MGM Grand developer Kirk Kerkorian dies at 98

Billionaire investor changed Las Vegas, bested Ted Turner and Howard Hughes

New York /
Jun.June 17, 2015 11:30 AM

Kirk Kerkorian, a billionaire real estate investor and former MGM mogul who built some of the world’s glitziest hotels and and outmaneuvered many titans of his time, died Monday night at his home in Beverly Hills, Calif. He was 98.

Kerkorian, who grew up poor in Fresno, Calif., with Armenian immigrant parents, went on to become one of America’s wealthiest real estate players. His net worth stood at $16 billion as recently as 2008, according to Forbes — though that number had since fallen to around $4 billion. Kerkorian’s investments particularly changed the face of Las Vegas, where he built the city’s largest hotel on three separate occasions – most recently the MGM Grand in 1993.

Kerkorian was a brawling amateur boxer, a daredevil pilot and a high-stakes poker player before making his career in real estate. He counted Frank Sinatra and Cary Grant among his close friends, and established a reputation for being media-shy and reclusive.

Among his higher-profile real estate plays included buying and selling MGM three times and similarly flipping his Trans International Airlines on several occasions. In 2000, he made an unsolicited and successful bid for Steve Wynn’s Mirage Resorts, which he acquired in a $4.4 billion cash deal.

He also counted legendary magnate Howard Hughes among his business rivals, and sold MGM to Ted Turner for $1.5 billion in 1986 before buying back the company – sans its film library – from Turner for only $300 million one year later. [NYT]Rey Mashayekhi


Related Articles

arrow_forward_ios
Peter Hauspurg

Eastern Consolidated founder Peter Hauspurg dies

Eastern Consolidated founder Peter Hauspurg dies
Jerry Wolkoff (Photo by Studio Scrivo)

Jerry Wolkoff, prolific New York developer, dies at 83

Jerry Wolkoff, prolific New York developer, dies at 83
Empire Stores (HK Organization)

Developer Howie Klaus of HK Organization dies at 65

Developer Howie Klaus of HK Organization dies at 65
Jaquelin Taylor Robertson (Photo by PATRICK MCMULLAN/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)

Jaquelin Taylor Robertson, architect for the city and celebrity, dies

Jaquelin Taylor Robertson, architect for the city and celebrity, dies
Bianka Yankov of Spire Group 

Spire Group’s Bianka Yankov dies at 37

Spire Group’s Bianka Yankov dies at 37
Charles Urstadt

Charles Urstadt, architect of vacancy decontrol, dies at 91

Charles Urstadt, architect of vacancy decontrol, dies at 91
From left: Barron Hilton, I M Pei, Jay Kriegel and Burt Resnick (Credit: Wikipedia, Getty Images, Adam Pincus)

2019 in memoriam: Lives lost, legends to remember

2019 in memoriam: Lives lost, legends to remember
Jay Kriegel (Credit: Kent Presents)

Jay Kriegel, Related senior adviser and ex-mayoral chief of staff, dies

Jay Kriegel, Related senior adviser and ex-mayoral chief of staff, dies
arrow_forward_ios

The Deal's newsletters give you the latest scoops, fresh headlines, marketing data, and things to know within the industry.

Loading...