The fourth largest shareholder in General Motors, the world’s biggest car company, is an 88 year old son of Armenian immigrants and school drop out who once worked for 45 cents an hour installing wall furnaces.
His name? Kerkor “Kirk” Kerkorian, the richest man in Los Angeles with a $10 billion fortune who yesterday upped his stake in GM to 9.9% to pressurize the company to cut its $1 billion dividend and executive salaries.
How did he become so rich? His first serious business venture was to launch a charter airline between LA and Las Vegas which he later sold. With the money he speculated on land and today owns more than half the hotel rooms on The Strip. To his hotels he added the MGM/UA film studios. His failed battle to take over Chrysler is legendary and now he is stalking GM.
What’s he like? Divorced three times, he is LA’s most private resident. Rarely gives interviews, does not use credit cards, does not have an email account, does not board commercial flights, does not wear expensive clothes, does not shop in retail stores, does not make speeches and does not accept awards and does not allow anything to be named in his honour. He eats out 3 or 4 times a week and plays tennis every weekend.