Kirk Kerkorian

Kirk Kerkorian was one of the first of the modern pioneers in Las Vegas. Kerkorian built and opened the first of the mega hotels—the MGM Grand. The original MGM Grand opened on the corner of Flamingo, and The Strip (the property is now known as Bally’s)on Dec 5th, 1973. At the time, this was the biggest hotel in the world. The MGM Grand was also the site of the biggest hotel tragedy in Las Vegas history. In November of 1980, a fire started from an electrical malfunction, and killed 87 people staying at the hotel.

Kerkorian was truly from the street. Kerkorian dropped out of school at the age of 13, and wound up making himself a fortune by buying, and selling surplus airplanes. Kerkorian eventually wound up owning an airline, and later, MGM/United Artists movie studio.