Parliament of Armenia honors memory of Kirk Kerkorian with a minute of silence
YEREVAN, JUNE 17, ARMENPRESS. The parliament paid tribute to the national hero of Armenia Kirk Kerkorian with a minute of silence. At the launch of the session of the National Assembly of Armenia Galust Sahakyan - President of the National Assembly – reminded that Kirk Kerkorian died at the age of 98. As Armenpress reports, Sahakyan mentioned. “Mr. Kerkorian’s contribution is invaluable. The loss is immense for all of us. On behalf of the National Assembly of the Republic of Armenia, I am sending condolences to the relatives of the great benefactor and the Armenians of the world. ”
Kirk Kerkorian, an eighth-grade dropout who traded his way to a $15-billion fortune and for a time was the richest person in Los Angeles, died yesterday. As Armenpress informs citing LAtimes, Kerkorian’s death was confirmed Tuesday by Anthony Mandekic, the CEO of Kerkorian’s company, Tracinda Corp. He said Kerkorian died Monday evening at his home in Beverly Hills of age-related causes.
"He was the most brilliant person I've ever run across, and so respectful of everyone," Mandekic told The Times. "He gave everything he could, right to the end. We have lost such a great icon. He was truly something special."
Kerkorian took an unlikely path to tremendous wealth. He didn't invent a ubiquitous product, like software entrepreneur Bill Gates, or specialize in one industry, like entertainment czar Sumner Redstone, or patiently nurture the same holdings for decades, like investment master Warren Buffett. Instead, Kerkorian bought and built and sold and bought again. He bought MGM Studios three times, always to his benefit, if not the studio's.
He accumulated large chunks of Chrysler Corp. when the automaker was considered all but defunct in the early 1980s, selling as it recovered. He did the same with a beleaguered General Motors in 2005, less successfully but still profitably. Kerkorian instinctively sensed the promise of Las Vegas on his first visits immediately after World War II, when it was an isolated desert town with only one luxury hotel, mobster Bugsy Siegel's Flamingo. He eventually acquired many of its most famous properties, including the Bellagio, the Mirage and the MGM Grand.
“I've had more people tell me, did you envision this or that?” Kerkorian told The Times in a rare interview in 2005. “I just lucked into things. I used to think that if I made $50,000, I'd be the happiest guy in the world.”
He opened the first MGM Grand in Las Vegas in the 1970s, the world's largest resort hotel at the time, and years later, he built another MGM Grand, then also the world's largest.
Jim Murren, chief executive of MGM Resorts International, said in a statement Tuesday that the company was "honoring the memory of a great man, a great business leader, a great community leader and an innovator."
Kerkorian always tried to act with a minimum of flamboyance. He never would have named a hotel after himself, the way his Las Vegas rival Steve Wynn did. When he wasn't making deals, his great joys were playing tennis with friends, and going with the masses to the movies at local theaters in Century City and Westwood.
Kerkorian rose from hard-scrabble poverty to comfort to extreme wealth, powered by little more than energy and guts. He might have called himself lucky, but like most successful entrepreneurs, he made his own way. Kerkor Kerkorian, later Americanized to “Kirk,” was born in Fresno on June 6, 1917. He was the fourth and last child of immigrants from Armenia. The boy's formal education ended in the eighth grade at a school for delinquent kids at 6th and Main streets in downtown Los Angeles. Despite all his achievements and wealth, this bothered him until the end of his life.