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Kirk Kerkorian

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Kirk Kerkorian

Hotel mogul Kirk Kerkorian isn’t showing signs of slowing down — professionally or personally — even at the age of 96. Despite selling $750 million worth of shares of MGM International Resorts in recent years, Kerkorian appears to have changed his mind about the company, announcing this spring that he is interested boosting his stake in it via his private investment firm, Tracinda. He already owns nearly one-fifth of the shares, which are up 50% in 2013. His $700 million investment in Delta Petroleum hasn’t panned out nearly so well. The company filed for bankruptcy in 2011, and Kerkorian is still trying to recover funds from the company’s embattled and bankrupt ex-CEO, who in turn blames Kerkorian for his troubles. The near centenarian’s love life hasn’t been dull either. Last September, the billionaire bachelor announced his engagement in to long-time friend Lu Beard, the widow of Bill Beard, the former CEO of Beard Oil Co. Earlier in 2012, he was rumored to be engaged to Joan Dangerfield (the widow of comedian Rodney Dangerfield), who celebrated his 95th birthday by organizing a flash mob. Now, he’s single again. Meanwhile, ex-wife Lisa Bonder asked a judge to appoint her as a guardian of the billionaire in May, claiming he was in poor health and his advisers at Tracinda were holding him hostage. Kerkorian called the accusations a lie, and the motion was dropped in July.The eighth grade dropout, ex- boxer and World War II fighter pilot trainer started his career in Las Vegas with a land purchase in 1962. He opened the original MGM hotel and casino after picking up the movie studio in 1969. Kerkorian stepped down as its chairman in 2011 to become the first director emeritus.

Forbes.com

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