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December 21, 2014

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Kirk Kerkorian: Recently married and ‘continues to move forward’

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Kevork Djansezian / AP

File photo from 1992 shows American Finance magnate Kirk Kerkorian. Billionaire investor Kerkorian is proposing to pay $4.5 billion in cash for Chrysler, as parent DaimlerChrysler AG examines what to do with its troubled U.S. automaking arm.

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Kirk Kerkorian at the annual old timers gathering at the Stardust Sept. 24, 2006.

The man often considered to be the Father of Las Vegas is married once more.

Trailblazing resort mogul Kirk Kerkorian has reportedly wed again. Information arriving unexpectedly from someone close to the 96-year-old multibillionaire is that he is married to Una Davis, a woman with whom he has previously been romantically linked.

Davis and Kerkorian have reportedly lived together — within the past eight years. In a story published by The Wall Street Journal in 2006, it was reported that the two shared a home in Beverly Hills, Calif., after meeting at tennis courts and describes Davis as his “much younger” girlfriend. The relationship dates to at least 2003, when Kerkorian and Davis attended the "An Evening With Larry King and Friends" gala to benefit the Larry King Cardiac Foundation at the Regent Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills.

A comment from a close friend of Kerkorian states: “All is good in the world of Kirk Kerkorian, a man who, as we all marvel, continues to move forward. He is healthy and recently married to Una Davis, he is extremely proud of his investment in MGM Resorts, and his motion picture company is well underway.”

This is to allay any concerns about Kerkorian's well-being. About a year ago, Kerkorian's ex-wife Lisa Bonder accused Kerkorian's handlers of shielding the business magnate from the public, which he denied. Bonder failed in her attempt to have a judge appoint her as guardian over Kerkorian, whom she said was in ill health. Over the past several years, Kerkorian also has been involved in relationships with Lu Beard, an Oklahoma City woman and widow of gas executive Bill Beard, and before that to Joan Dangerfield, widow of comic Rodney Dangerfield.

Kerkorian is a senior adviser and chairman emeritus of MGM Resorts International, having stepped down as chairman of the board in June 2011. He has shed much of his stock in the company but still owns one-fifth of its shares, which have nearly doubled in the past year, according to Forbes. His net worth is nearly $4.5 billion.

Kerkorian is a legend and a casino pioneer in the development of mega-resorts in Las Vegas. He built the International Hotel (later the Las Vegas Hilton and today LVH on Paradise Road) in 1969 and the original MGM Grand (now Bally’s) in 1971, is the former owner of Desert Inn and opened the current MGM Grand at Tropicana and Las Vegas Boulevard in 1993. Kerkorian also owned the Strip parcel on which Caesars Palace was built by Jay Sarno in 1966.

Kerkorian purchased Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer film studio in 1970 and was involved in buying and selling the MGM and United Artists studios, finally selling his interest in MGM to Sony in 2005 for $5 billion.

Today, the intensely private Kerkorian is the president/CEO of Tracinda Corp., his private holding company based in Beverly Hills. He and his associates, chiefly former MGM Chief Operating Officer Charles Cohen, have spent the past couple of years seeking to buy “a film company, production company or other entertainment business,” according to a Wall Street Journal story from January 2012.

As the fresh statement confirms, he has done just that.

Follow John Katsilometes on Twitter at Twitter.com/JohnnyKats. Also, follow “Kats With the Dish” at Twitter.com/KatsWiththeDish.

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