Before Bugsy: Billy Wilkerson’s Original Vision for the Flamingo Hotel
Author W.R. Wilkerson III will discuss the life of his father, Billy Wilkerson, the original builder of the Flamingo Hotel in Las Vegas. Wilkerson’s book, Hollywood Godfather, delves into his father’s life, including launching the Hollywood Reporter newspaper, operating high-class Hollywood nightclubs and restaurants, and starting the Flamingo Hotel in Las Vegas, only to be pushed out by Bugsy Siegel.
This program is in the Historic Courtroom. A book signing in the retail store follows the program.
W.R. Wilkerson III
W.R. Wilkerson III is a graduate of the University of Southern California film and music school. He has authored several books including HOLLYWOOD GODFATHER: The Life & Crimes of Billy Wilkerson (2018). ONE VOTE, ONE PERSON: How Changing Our Voting System Will Get Us Out of the Mess We’re In (2008), The Monk’s Son (2007), HOW WOULD YOU VOTE IF YOU WERE ALLOWED TO: Experience the Power of Direct Democracy and Make Your Voice Heard (2006), Las Vegas: Vintage Graphics from Sin City Edited by Jim Heimann (2003), All America Ads of the 40’s Edited by Jim Heimann (2002), and The Man Who Invented Las Vegas (1999).
Wilkerson has also contributed to several publications including The Los Angeles Times, The Hollywood Reporter, USA Today, The Herald Examiner, and The LA Weekly.
He has lectured widely on Hollywood history and folklore, delivering presentations to such groups as the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.
As a TV historian and personality, Wilkerson has made numerous television and radio appearances globally. He has discussed his father’s remarkable story and other aspects of Hollywood history on such TV shows as A&E’s “Biography”, E! Entertainment’s “Mysteries & Scandals,” The Learning Channel’s “The Secret History of Las Vegas” and PBS’s “History Detectives”.
Material from Hollywood Godfather has already been prominently featured in national and international primetime media (examples available upon request). The universal interest this material has generated cannot be overstated. This pre-existing publicity will prove an absolute boon to any publisher as a significant sales driver.