Kirk Kerkorian among the crowd

To the editor: Almost anyone who came into contact with the late Kirk Kerkorian, who died Monday at the age of 98, will attest to his self-effacing demeanor with an anecdote. Here's mine.

Back when he was head of MGM Studios, the company arranged for a small press group to fly to Las Vegas for the groundbreaking of the planned MGM Grand hotel.

We met at Los Angeles International Airport and boarded a DC-3 to discover that Kerkorian himself had climbed into the pilot's seat.

The flight was uneventful, and the group gathered for the ceremonies. Various local bigwigs up on a platform were making the usual effusive speeches when a quite lovely young lady joined them.

Kerkorian was standing out in the crowd with us totally unrecognized. He then turned to me. "Who's she?" he asked. "That's Gina Lollobrigida, an actress," I told him. Lollobrigida worked for the studio, so literally he was her boss.

He seemed content to let the encounter go with that.

Norm Sklarewitz, Los Angeles

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