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Kirk Kerkorian: A Great American and Yacht Owner

Remembering Kirk Kerkorian
Kirk Kerkorian

Kirk Kerkorian

Kirk Kerkorian, died June 15 this year at age 98 in Beverly Hills. To many he was an enigma: A Las Vegas gambling mogul who watched boxing championships from his own casino in the cheap seats. In his life he bought and sold MGM three times yet stood in line to watch his studio's movies at the theater. He was wealthy enough to make unsuccessful bids, at age 88, to take over the Chrysler Corporation, but didn't drive luxury cars.

Cited by some as a shrewd and manipulative deal maker with an estimated net worth of more than $4 billion, he gave away more than $1 billion to charity through a foundation named for his daughters-- much of it to projects in Armenia where his immigrant and penniless parents were born. When the Armenians wanted to name a building or a park in his honor, he told them no. He was also a Yacht Owner

Kirk Kerkorian enjoyed life. He did not enjoy publicity or the cameras. But he was not a recluse. When he wasn’t going about his business, one luxury he enjoyed was yachting.

Born Kerkor Kerkorian he renamed himself Kirk and started a process of becoming not just an American but a great American. He took odd jobs from the age of nine to help his family and never looked back. He was a fighter both literally (as an amateur boxer) and figuratively as a business man. He created himself. He became an aviator, a tournament level tennis player and he was a yachtsman.

The Yacht world will remember him mostly because of the 192-foot German-built steel yacht named October Rose for his sister. It was the world's 22nd largest in 2005. Powered by twin 1,750-horsepower diesel engines, it had a 7,000-mile cruising range. October Rose featured an enormous teak sundeck and gymnasium and could sleep 12 passengers and 12 crew. Kerkorian first chartered the yacht, then bought her, then sold her, then bought her back and sold her again. One of the erstwhile owners was Larry Ellison.

Kerkorian lived and loved life and he loved yachting.

Requiem courtesy of maritime lawyer Michael T. Moore.