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Kirk Kerkorian Net Worth

Kirk Kerkorian Net Worth
Net Worth $4.2 Billion
Birthdate Jun 6, 1917 – Jun 15, 2015
Profession Businessperson, Investor, Financier
Nationality United States of America

What was Kirk Kerkorian Net Worth?

Kirk Kerkorian was an American giant businessman, investor, and philanthropist who had really great and bright histories in the mining industry, with a net worth under his name amounting to $4.2 billion until he died in the year 2015. Born from an immigrant family during the times of the Great Depression, Kerkorian rose from rags to riches, signifying sheer determination and resilience.

A towering figure central to the configuration of modern Las Vegas, Kerkorian’s forays included among the iconic landmarks in the city the International Hotel, the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino, and the MGM Grand. In 1976, he established Tracinda Corporation, a private holding company, where he served as president and CEO.

But besides business, Kerkorian was a firm believer in philanthropy. He dispensed over one billion dollars through his Lincy Foundation for various causes in ancestral Armenia to show commitment in order to give something back to the homeland.

Since Kerkorian had the nickname “the smiling cobra,” he was seen as the most far-reaching influence in the converting of Las Vegas into the current vibrant entertainment hub. Despite this, he charted his own course and, at only 15, dropped out of high school to become a boxer. During the Second World War, he exhibited his valor as a pilot in the R.A.F. who negotiated treacherous routes to bring essentials.

Following the war, Kerkorian ventured into aviation, investing part of his war-spoils savings to purchase a Cessna and get a job as a general aviation pilot. His first visit to Las Vegas took place in the year 1944, whereby he was actively involved in the flourishing casino atmosphere of the city.

In 1962, Kerkorian ventured into a very large investment, buying himself 80 acres of land in Las Vegas and, therefore, laying the first stone for all his future enterprises in the city. That same visionary approach to business had the 91-year-old billionaire buying a controlling interest in the film studio of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer in 1969; he would later parlay that into the original MGM Grand Hotel and Casino by 1973, later known as Bally’s Las Vegas. He next expanded into the MGM Grand Reno in 1978, which transformed MGM into a worldwide gaming giant.

Despite his immense success, Kerkorian remained grounded, embodying humility and a commitment to giving back. He relinquished his role as chairman of MGM in 2011, assuming the title of director emeritus. With the death of Kerkorian on June 16, 2015, an era had truly come to an end, but he kept alive the philanthropic legacy, since most of his $4 billion estate went to charitable causes.

Early Life

Kirk Kerkorian Net Worth

Kirk Kerkorian was born on June 6, 1917, in Fresno, California, to Armenian parents fleeing from genocide in Armenia. He moved to Los Angeles with his family due to economic repulse from 1920 to 1921. That’s when Kerkorian decides to drop out of school during his eighth grade and, instead, takes up an amateur boxing career, guided by his elder brother Nish. He had the backing of his elder sister, Rose.

Aviation Career

Shortly before World changed into World War II, Kerkorian installed his flight training in the Happy Bottom Riding Club, positioned inside the Mojave Desert, a form of pilgrimage for loads of enthusiasts of aviation. Working for famous aviator Pancho Barnes for about 6 months, Kerkorian learned the ropes of the business and then received his commercial pilot’s license. Kerkorian was then transferred to the British Royal Air Force Ferry Command, and in two and a half years, he flew 33 aircraft, having collected tens of thousands of flight hours.

Post-war, Kerkorian procured a Cessna aircraft and commenced his career as a general aviation pilot. This was the time that he frequented Las Vegas, doing the gambling he enjoyed. But in the year 1947, Kerkorian decided that he would take a leave from gambling and purchased Trans International Airlines by spending a large sum of $60,000. He managed the airline until 1968, when he opted to divest his ownership, selling it to the Transamerica Corporation.

Development of Las Vegas

Kerkorian’s impact on the Las Vegas landscape began in 1962 when he bought a patch of 80 acres of land for the area at a price of $960,000. The clever Kerkorian made a strategic investment by laying the foundation, which used his land for the development of Caesars Palace. Thinking bigger, in 1967, he acquired 82 acres of land along Paradise Road in Las Vegas. This is when he decided to enter into a joint venture with the architect Martin Stern Jr. for the construction of the International Hotel, a project that marked the world’s biggest hotel at the time of completion along with the legendary Showroom Internationale. This is where the performances of Barbra Streisand and Elvis Presley, among other icons, first held their performances. The latter’s shows particularly attracted huge crowds that even records of visitation were broken, where close to 4,200 patrons flooded each day for a huge 30 days running.

Building on those successes, Kerkorian got into the film business by purchasing MGM Studios in 1969. Working again with Martin Stern Jr., they would come up with the original MGM Grand Hotel and Casino, which, upon unveiling in 1973, was grander in scale than the International. Sadly, the building was consumed in a tragic fire during 1980. Despite this setback, Kerkorian showed his determination, and next year by restoring, the hotel was opened. In the year 1986, he made a big decision to sell the MGM Grand to Bally Manufacturing for an enormous amount of $594 million, which showed his astute business sense. He continued to shape the Las Vegas profile, which had already been influenced significantly by his investment activities. In 1993, Kerkorian acquired the Marina Hotel and Casino, naming it the new MGM Grand and thus again impacting the city’s profile.

MGM Studios

In 1969, Kerkorian’s entry into the entertainment industry took a major turn with his acquisition of MGM Studios. Taking reins in his own hands, he put James Thomas Aubrey Jr in place as President, who initiated a whole series of strategic moves to streamline the operational mess that had gripped the ailing studio. This included selling off substantial portions of its memorabilia, backlots, and overseas ventures.

Growing his influence, in 1981 Kerkorian made another great acquisition: he bought United Artists. Through efficient management, he strengthened MGM in terms of film library and production. However, his ownership of MGM was not without its twists and turns. In 1986, Kerkorian opted to sell MGM to Ted Turner.

A decade later, he found himself reacquiring the studio from the clutches of the French bank Crédit Lyonnais, which had taken control of it after a loan default by the former owner, Giancarlo Parretti.

Notwithstanding the changes of ownership, Kerkorian pursued an expansional course for MGM. Further diversification of the studio’s portfolio came with its acquisitions of Orion Pictures, the Samuel Goldwyn Company, and the Motion Picture Corporation of America. This really repositioned them and meant MGM was here to stay. A big move in 2005 from Kerkorian saw himself parting ways with MGM yet again, this time selling the studio to a consortium led by Sony, who has sold MGM, closing another chapter on its story with one of Hollywood’s most iconic studios.

Auto Industry Investments

Kerkorian was known to the American auto industry. He had hooked up with retired Chrysler CEO Lee Iacocca in 1995 on a bold but ultimately unsuccessful hostile takeover bid for Chrysler Corporation. A man who never backed away from automotive ventures, Kerkorian had a phenomenal 9.9% stake in General Motors at one point of time. His involvement in the industry extended to purchasing stocks in the Ford Motor Company, starting in 2008.

The Lincy Foundation

In 1989, he founded the Lincy Foundation, and through its philanthropic effort, over $1 billion were funneled into projects in his ancestral homeland, Armenia. In due course, his contribution proved vital for major infrastructure undertakings within the country, such as the rehabilitation of roads and educational institutions after the devastating earthquake of 1988. He would also show generous gestures in cultural endeavors, such as financial support to the 2016 historical epic “The Promise,” which showed the world the grim reality of the Armenian genocide. But in 2011, there was an end in sight for the Lincy Foundation, which brought the end of Kerkorian’s giant influence and giant charitable contributions.

Personal Life & Death

Kerkorian’s history of marriages and relationships is somewhat colorful: he said “I do” four times in his life. His first wife was Hilda Schmidt; the couple married in 1942, and ten years later, they divorced. He then married English dancer Jean Maree Hardy in 1954, but the marriage was over after thirty years of marriage. His two daughters, Tracy and Linda, were the fruits of this marriage. He later named one of the business ventures the Tracinda Corporation and the other the Lincy Foundation.

His third marriage was to professional tennis player Lisa Bonder, who was significantly younger than him by 48 years.

But their marital bliss was short-lived, lasting a period of one month in 1999. Kerkorian married for the fourth and final time in 2014 with Una Davis. His marriage was very short-lived—only 57 days—where Una was almost half his age.

It came to an end in June 2015, only nine days after he had celebrated his 98th birthday, in Beverly Hills, California. Following his death, his ex-partner Vanessa Sandin tried to get from his estate $20 million that she claimed he was owing her. In February 2018, the case was finally ruled on, and Sandin got away with $7.5 million. Reports suggest that Sandin and Kerkorian had a brief romantic involvement lasting less than a year.

Kirk Kerkorian Net Worth

FAQ about Kirk Kerkorian Net Worth

1. What was Kirk Kerkorian net worth at the time of his passing?

  • Kirk Kerkorian net worth of $4.2 billion by the time of his death in 2015.

2. What was Kirk Kerkorian’s profession?

  • Kirk Kerkorian was a prominent American businessman, investor, and financier.

3. When was Kirk Kerkorian born and when did he pass away?

  • Kirk Kerkorian was born on June 6, 1917, and he passed away on June 15, 2015.

4. What was Kirk Kerkorian’s nationality?

  • Kirk Kerkorian was a citizen of the United States of America.

5. What were some of Kirk Kerkorian’s notable contributions to the business world?

  • Kirk Kerkorian played a significant role in shaping modern-day Las Vegas through his ventures in the hospitality and entertainment industry. He was instrumental in the development of iconic landmarks such as the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino.

6. What philanthropic endeavors was Kirk Kerkorian involved in?

  • Kirk Kerkorian was deeply committed to philanthropy, particularly in his ancestral Armenia. He established the Lincy Foundation, through which he contributed over $1 billion to various causes, including infrastructure projects and cultural endeavors.

7. What were Kirk Kerkorian’s early life and career like?

  • Kirk Kerkorian was born to Armenian parents in Fresno, California. He left school during the eighth grade to pursue a career as an amateur boxer and later became a pilot for the British Royal Air Force during World War II. After the war, he ventured into aviation and eventually into business, making significant investments in various industries.

8. What were some of Kirk Kerkorian’s notable investments in the auto industry?

  • Kirk Kerkorian made headlines with his attempted hostile takeover of the Chrysler Corporation in 1995. He also held a notable stake in General Motors and invested in the Ford Motor Company.

9. How many times was Kirk Kerkorian married?

  • Kirk Kerkorian was married four times during his lifetime.

10. What were the circumstances surrounding Kirk Kerkorian’s passing?

  • Kirk Kerkorian passed away in Beverly Hills, California, on June 15, 2015, at the age of 98. His death marked the end of an era in business and philanthropy.

Quick Summary

  1. Kirk Kerkorian is an American entrepreneur, investor, and philanthropist who was very known for his net worth, which reached $4.2 billion at the time he died in 2015. Evidently, it presented itself in the life of the man himself, Kerkorian had great contributions which helped shape Modern Day Las Vegas from his International Hotel to his MGM Grand Hotel and Casino. With very little, he did many great things: mining, airlines, movies. But perhaps the greatest of them all was Kerkorian’s giving, in particular, to causes in his ancestral home of Armenia, where he gave over one billion dollars via the Lincy Foundation. Despite his immense wealth and influence, Kerkorian remained humble and committed to giving back to his roots.



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