The Gambler: The Secret Life of Las Vegas Resort King Kirk Kerkorian

The Gambler: The Secret Life of Las Vegas Resort King Kirk Kerkorian

Date: October 4, 2018
Time: 7-9 p.m.
Cost: Free for Members or with Museum admission


Kirk Kerkorian is one of the biggest names in Las Vegas history, but the details of his life have been shrouded in secrecy. A very private person, Kerkorian was guarded about his epic rags-to-riches story, the depths of which we are only beginning to discover.

In this event, author and investigative reporter William C. Rempel shares his discoveries about the mysterious life of this enigmatic Las Vegas resort mogul in his latest book, The Gambler: How Penniless Dropout Kirk Kerkorian Became the Greatest Deal Maker in Capitalist History.

Rempel will reveal how Kerkorian navigated the Mob-infested waters of Las Vegas to build some of the largest and most iconic resorts on the Strip. He will also discuss more personal aspects of Kerkorian’s private life, from his boxing exploits and a budding career as a pilot, to his legendary deal-making prowess in Hollywood and Detroit.

This Wiseguy event features William C. Rempel sharing previously untold stories about Kirk Kerkorian, including:

• How an Armenian-American eighth-grade dropout became a billionaire and transformed Las Vegas

• How Kerkorian built some of the largest and most iconic resorts on the Strip without forming underworld partnerships

• The lengths Kerkorian went to protect his private life from public scrutiny

• Rempel’s greatest challenges in discovering the real Kirk Kerkorian after decades of deeply guarded secrecy

Join us for a captivating evening of revelation as Rempel tells the story of one of Las Vegas’ most recognized yet least understood entrepreneurial giants.

Following this program and book signing, join us for drinks in The Underground speakeasy with Mr. Rempel.

If you’re a Museum Member, please bring your Membership card with you and look for a member check-in table in our lobby.

If you’re not a Museum Member, please check-in at our box office to purchase your Museum admission.

Featured Speakers

William C. Rempel  

William C. Rempel

WILLIAM C. REMPEL is a veteran investigative reporter and editor with thirty-six-years experience at the Los Angeles Times. He has been recognized with numerous journalism honors including an Overseas Press Club Award, and a Gerald Loeb Award, and was a finalist for the Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting. He is the author of At the Devil’s Table: The Untold Story of the Insider Who Brought Down the Cali Cartel, the basis of an eighty-episode Spanish language television series. He was a consultant for season three of the Netflix drama Narcos. His first book, Delusions of a Dictator, was based on exclusive access to the secret diaries of former Philippines dictator Ferdinand Marcos. Over his long career at the Los Angeles Times, Rempel produced groundbreaking reports on subjects ranging from oil tanker safety prior to the Exxon Valdez disaster to the menace of al Qaeda prior to September 11, 2001. He tracked international arms merchants across Europe, documented secret U.S. support for terrorists in North Africa and traced the shipments of Soviet-era cargo planes to South American drug cartels. Few of those stories were as challenging as finding the real Kirk Kerkorian behind decades of privacy protection.