Kirk Kerkorian, the billionaire investor who developed some of the grandest hotels in Las Vegas, passed away at his home Monday night. He built the International Hotel (now the Westgate) in 1969, the MGM (now Bally’s) in 1973 and MGM Grand in 1993, and held key percentages in 16 major hotel-casinos. “Kirk Kerkorian was one of a handful of people who built the city he loved — Las Vegas,” Brian Greenspun, CEO, publisher and editor of Greenspun Media Group, told the Las Vegas Sun. “He was quiet; he was shy; he was unassuming, and yet he was a giant of American capitalism whose vision and love of the deal helped catapult Las Vegas to the top of the world when it came to building the megaresorts for which we are so famous.” Kerkorian, who is also known for his film studio investments (Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer), involvement in Ford Motor Co., and major philanthropic work, was 98 years old. He died of natural causes.
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