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The Gaming Hall of Fame

2000 Inductee

Fred Benninger

Fred Benninger

Industry Leader

 

Fred Benninger (1917-2004)

 

Fred Benninger came to the gaming industry with Kirk Kerkorian's International Leisure Company, which built the International (today the Las Vegas Hilton). When the International opened in July 1969, it was the largest hotel yet built.

Benninger, born in Gunzburg, Germany, graduated with honors from the University of Southern California and served in the United States Army Air Force during World War II. Following the war, he remained in aviation, rising to become the Executive Vice President and General Manager of the Flying Tiger Line, the first scheduled commercial cargo airline.

In 1967, Benninger joined Kerkorian as he began building the International and bought the Flamingo as a training ground for the massive casino. Benninger, as president of International Leisure, was an important figure in this pivotal casino project.

When Kerkorian sold International Leisure to the Hilton company, Benninger remained with him as chairman of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer studios and oversaw the construction of the original MGM Grand (now Bally's Las Vegas), which was also the biggest hotel yet seen when it opened in 1973. He also supervised the construction of the MGM Grand Reno, which later became the Reno Hilton and is now the Grand Sierra Resort.

As Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of MGM Grand, Inc., Benninger helped develop the current MGM Grand, which when it opened was, for the third time, the largest hotel in the world. After leaving this role in 1991, he remained with MGM Grand as a member of the Board of Directors, serving on the Executive Committee and as chair of the Audit Committee. He remained on the Board when, in 2000, the company acquired Mirage Resorts and became MGM Mirage.

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Last modified Thursday, 12-Mar-2009 14:57:14 PDT

 

 

This page last updated Thursday, 12-Mar-2009 14:57:14 PDT .