Time in Yerevan: 11:07:36,   10 December

Donald Trump’s business idol Kirk Kerkorian – The Gambler author presents details

YEREVAN, FEBRUARY 28, ARMENPRESS. William C. Rempel, author of The Gambler, a biographical book on the life of the late Armenian-American billionaire Kirk Kerkorian, has written an article in the Fortune magazine drawing parallels between the late business tycoon and US President Donald Trump.

Rempel wrote that Kerkorian is one of the business idols of the current US President, and despite this fact the two businessmen were very different. “Kerkorian was the polar opposite—the very embodiment of self-discipline, humility and grace under pressure”.

Kirk Kerkorian, self-made billionaire and fellow hotel developer, started out as a penniless eighth-grade dropout from California before becoming a Hollywood movie mogul, a Las Vegas casino magnate, and one of America’s richest men. His largely unheralded charitable giving also made him one of the country’s most generous tycoons.

In many ways, he was the un-Donald, yet Trump regarded Kerkorian as business royalty. When a New York Times columnist was calling Kerkorian—then in his late 80s—“the god of all deal makers,” Trump was likewise calling him “the King” and publicly declared: “I love that guy”,” Rempel says.

“The stories of the two fellow billionaires have obvious parallels, but perhaps more interesting than that, is how vastly they diverged in their approaches to achieving remarkably similar versions of the modern American dream.

By the time Kerkorian died at age 98 in 2015, he owned most of the major hotels and casinos on The Strip. But his name was on none of them. And though he transformed the American gambling mecca, Kerkorian’s name never appeared on a street sign, a park site or so much as a private parking spot.

The Las Vegas skyline does, however, have the giant gold letters T-R-U-M-P atop the 64-story Trump International Hotel.

The reticent Kerkorian avoided media engagement. He declined most interviews and lived by his own rule against divulging anything about his personal or business interests. The first Kirk commandment was: don’t talk too much. His second was: never talk about yourself,” the author continued.

English –translator/editor: Stepan Kocharyan

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