This week, Ira spoke with William Rempel.
William C. Rempel is the author of “The Gambler, How Penniless Dropout Kirk Kerkorian Became The Greatest Deal Maker in Capitalist History.” Kerkorian played a big part in the development of modern Las Vegas.
In this 30-minute episode of Talk About Las Vegas, Rempel traces Kerkorian’s hardscrabble childhood; his bravery in ferrying airplanes to Europe in World War II; his ability to take chances in business; his legacy in creating the leisure industry and the subsequent impact on Las Vegas; and the lowest point in his life, one which had nothing to do with money.
Rempel is a veteran investigative reporter and editor with thirty-six-years’ experience at the Los Angeles Times. He has been recognized with numerous journalism honors including an Overseas Press Club Award, and a Gerald Loeb Award, and was a finalist for the Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting.
He is the author of “At the Devil’s Table: The Untold Story of the Insider Who Brought Down the Cali Cartel,” the basis of an eighty-episode Spanish language television series.
Rempel’s first book, “Delusions of a Dictator,” was based on exclusive access to the secret diaries of former Philippines dictator Ferdinand Marcos.
Over his long career at the Los Angeles Times, Rempel produced groundbreaking reports on subjects ranging from oil tanker safety prior to the Exxon Valdez disaster to the menace of al Qaeda prior to September 11, 2001.
He tracked international arms merchants across Europe, documented secret U.S. support for terrorists in North Africa and traced the shipments of Soviet-era cargo planes to South American drug cartels.
Few of those stories were as challenging as finding the real Kirk Kerkorian behind decades of privacy protection.