Kirk Kerkorian, Las Vegas Casino Mogul and Billionaire, Dies at 98

by The Associated Press /  / Updated 
Image: Billionaire Kirk Kerkorian heads into the courthouse to testify in DaimlerChrysler merger lawsuit in Wilmington, Delaware
Billionaire Kirk Kerkorian heads into the courthouse to testify in the third day of the DaimlerChrysler merger lawsuit in Wilmington, Delaware, in this file photo taken December 3, 2003.TIM SHAFFER / Reuters

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LAS VEGAS — Billionaire Kirk Kerkorian, an eighth-grade dropout who built Las Vegas' biggest hotels, tried to take over Chrysler and bought and sold MGM at a profit three times, has died. He was 98.

MGM Resorts International says Kerkorian died Monday.

He built the 30-story, 1,568-room International Hotel, the world's largest hotel when it opened in the late 1960s.

Image: Billionaire Kirk Kerkorian heads into the courthouse to testify in DaimlerChrysler merger lawsuit in Wilmington, Delaware
Billionaire Kirk Kerkorian heads into the courthouse to testify in the third day of the DaimlerChrysler merger lawsuit in Wilmington, Delaware, in this file photo taken December 3, 2003.TIM SHAFFER / Reuters

When Kerkorian opened the first MGM Grand in Las Vegas in the 1970s, it was again the world's largest resort hotel, containing more than 2,000 rooms. Years later, he would build another MGM Grand, this one with more than 5,000 rooms — and again, the world's largest.

Kerkorian also bought and sold the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer film studio three times, each time realizing a profit. He also invested heavily in the auto industry and tried unsuccessfully to take over Chrysler.

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