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Kirk Kerkorian

Kirk Kerkorian

Kerkor "Kirk" Kerkorian (June 6, 1917 – June 15, 2015) was an Armenian American businessman, investor, and philanthropist. He was the president and CEO of Tracinda Corporation, his private holding company based in Beverly Hills, California. Kerkorian was one of the important figures in the shaping of Las Vegas and, with architect Martin Stern, Jr. described as the "father of the mega-resort". He built the world's largest hotel in Las Vegas three times: the International Hotel (opened in 1969), the MGM Grand Hotel (1973) and the MGM Grand (1993). He purchased the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer movie studio in 1969. Of Armenian American origin, Kerkorian provided over $1 billion for charity in Armenia through his Lincy Foundation, which was established in 1989 and particularly focused on helping to rebuild northern Armenia after the 1988 earthquake. Kerkorian also provided money to ensure that a film based on the history of the Armenian Genocide would be made. The resulting film, called "The Promise," premiered in April 2017 in the United States. In 2000 Time magazine named him the 10th largest donor in the US. Kerkorian was declared an honorary citizen of Armenia by President Robert Kocharyan in September 1998. He was bestowed the title of National Hero of Armenia, the highest state award, by Kocharyan in May 2004.

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