The Gambler: How Penniless Dropout Kirk Kerkorian Became The Greatest Deal Maker In Capitalist History

The Gambler: How Penniless Dropout Kirk Kerkorian Became The Greatest Deal Maker In Capitalist History

Synopsis

“Offers an entertaining look at Kerkorian’s outsize life… an interesting portrait of a billionaire.”Wall Street Journal

The rags-to-riches story of one of America’s wealthiest and least-known financial giants, self-made billionaire Kirk Kerkorian—the daring aviator, movie mogul, risk-taker, and business tycoon who transformed Las Vegas and Hollywood to become one of the leading financiers in American business.

Kerkorian combined the courage of a World War II pilot, the fortitude of a scrappy boxer, the cunning of an inscrutable poker player and an unmatched genius for making deals. He never put his name on a building, but when he died he owned almost every major hotel and casino in Las Vegas. He envisioned and fostered a new industry —the leisure business. Three times he built the biggest resort hotel in the world. Three times he bought and sold the fabled MGM Studios, forever changing the way Hollywood does business.

His early life began as far as possible from a place on the Forbes List of Billionaires when he and his Armenian immigrant family lost their farm to foreclosure. He was four. They arrived in Los Angeles penniless and moved often, staying one step ahead of more evictions. Young Kirk learned English on the streets of L.A., made pennies hawking newspapers and dropped out after eighth grade. How he went on to become one of the richest and most generous men in America—his net worth as much as $20 billion—is a story largely unknown to the world. That’s because what Kerkorian valued most was his privacy. His very private life turned to tabloid fodder late in life when a former professional tennis player falsely claimed that the eighty-five-year-old billionaire fathered her child.

In this engrossing biography, investigative reporter William C. Rempel digs deep into Kerkorian’s long-guarded history to introduce a man of contradictions—a poorly educated genius for deal-making, an extraordinarily shy man who made the boldest of business ventures, a careful and calculating investor who was willing to bet everything on a single roll of the dice.

Unlike others of his status and importance, Kerkorian made few public appearances and strenuously avoided personal publicity. His friends and associates, however, were some of the biggest names in business, entertainment, and sports—among them Howard Hughes, Ted Turner, Steve Wynn, Michael Milken, Cary Grant, Frank Sinatra, Barbra Streisand, Elvis Presley, Mike Tyson, and Andre Agassi.

When he died in 2015 two years shy of the century mark, Kerkorian had outlived many of his closest friends and associates. Now, Rempel meticulously pieces together revealing fragments of Kerkorian’s life, collected from diverse sources—war records, business archives, court documents, news clippings and the recollections and recorded memories of longtime pals and relatives. In The Gambler, Rempel illuminates this unknown, self-made man and his inspiring legacy as never before.

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Chapters

  • 001 The Gambler
    Duration: 43s
  • 002 A Note to Readers
    Duration: 11min
  • 003 Prologue
    Duration: 08min
  • 004 Part I Chapter 01
    Duration: 10min
  • 005 Chapter 02
    Duration: 55min
  • 006 Chapter 03
    Duration: 12min
  • 007 Chapter 04
    Duration: 07min
  • 008 Chapter 05
    Duration: 18min
  • 009 Chapter 06
    Duration: 15min
  • 010 Chapter 07
    Duration: 17min
  • 011 Chapter 08
    Duration: 08min
  • 012 Chapter 09
    Duration: 11min
  • 013 Chapter 10
    Duration: 10min
  • 014 Chapter 11
    Duration: 15min
  • 015 Chapter 12
    Duration: 21min
  • 016 Part II Chapter 13
    Duration: 24min
  • 017 Chapter 14
    Duration: 26min
  • 018 Chapter 15
    Duration: 20min
  • 019 Chapter 16
    Duration: 13min
  • 020 Chapter 17
    Duration: 14min
  • 021 Chapter 18
    Duration: 18min
  • 022 Chapter 19
    Duration: 20min
  • 023 Chapter 20
    Duration: 20min
  • 024 Chapter 21
    Duration: 11min
  • 025 Chapter 22
    Duration: 13min
  • 026 Chapter 23
    Duration: 14min
  • 027 Chapter 24
    Duration: 18min
  • 028 Chapter 25
    Duration: 17min
  • 029 Chapter 26
    Duration: 21min
  • 030 Chapter 27
    Duration: 24min
  • 031 Chapter 28
    Duration: 11min
  • 032 Chapter 29
    Duration: 14min
  • 033 Chapter 30
    Duration: 13min
  • 034 Chapter 31
    Duration: 20min
  • 035 Part III Chapter 32
    Duration: 18min
  • 036 Chapter 33
    Duration: 24min
  • 037 Chapter 34
    Duration: 19min
  • 038 Chapter 35
    Duration: 15min
  • 039 Chapter 36
    Duration: 22min
  • 040 Chapter 37
    Duration: 24min
  • 041 Chapter 38
    Duration: 17min
  • 042 Chapter 39
    Duration: 20min
  • 043 Chapter 40
    Duration: 16min
  • 044 Chapter 41
    Duration: 26min
  • 045 Epilogue
    Duration: 09min
  • 046 Credits
    Duration: 01min

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