The rags-to-riches story of one of America’s wealthiest and least-known financial giants, self-made billionaire Kirk KerkorianKirk Kerkorian was a pioneering American aviator, movie mogul, risk taker, and business tycoon who transformed Las Vegas and Hollywood to become one of this country’s leading financiers. His life story demonstrates the cool daring of a World War II pilot, the grit of a scrappy boxer, the cunning of an inscrutable poker player, and an unmatched genius for making deals. While he never put his name on a building, Kerkorian owned most of the major hotels and casinos in Las Vegas by the time he died in 2015. He envisioned and fostered what he called the new leisure industry. Three times he built the biggest resort hotel in the world. Three times he bought and sold the fabled MGM Studios, forever changing the way Hollywood does business.His early life began as far as possible from his eventual place on the Forbes list of billionaires, when he and his Armenian immigrant family lost their California farm to foreclosure. Kirk was about five when they moved to Los Angeles flat broke-and kept moving, staying one step ahead of more evictions. Young Kirk learned English on the streets of L.A., made pennies hawking newspapers, and dropped out of school after eighth grade. How he went on to become one of the richest and most generous men in America-his net worth as much as $20 billion-is a story largely unknown to the world. That’s because what Kirk Kerkorian valued most was his privacy. His friends and associates, however, were some of the biggest names in business, entertainment, and sports-among them Howard Hughes, Ted Turner, Steve Wynn, Michael Milken, Cary Grant, Frank Sinatra, Barbra Streisand, Elvis Presley, Mike Tyson, and Andre Agassi. In this engrossing biography, investigative reporter William C. Rempel digs deep into Kerkorian’s long-guarded history to introduce a man of contradictions-a poorly educated genius of deal-making, an extraordinarily shy man who pursued the boldest of business ventures, a careful and calculating investor who was willing to bet everything on a single roll of the dice. The Gambler illuminates as never before this little-known self-made entrepreneur and his inspiring legacy.