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50 Wealthiest: Kirk Kerkorian #3

NET WORTH: $5.2 billion -5%

LAST YEAR: $5.5 billion

AGE: 94

RESIDENCE: Beverly Hills

SOURCE OF WEALTH: Investments, casinos

THE MONEY: Sold off nearly $500 million of MGM Resorts International stock, but still holds 91 million shares, which fell. Owns one-third of now-bankrupt Delta Petroleum, shares of which are worth just $3 million, hitting his wealth.

BUZZ: Kerkorian has slowed in his advanced years, but remains litigious. Sued adviser who got him to invest $684 million in Denver-based Delta, alleging fraud and false statements about company’s assets. The drop in natural gas prices left Delta unable to pay debts and the company declared bankruptcy in December after losing 96 percent of value. Meanwhile, Kerkorian stepped down from the board of MGM Resorts International, the casino operator that built some of the world’s largest hotels but has been saddled with debt and losses. He now holds just 19 percent of stock through private investment firm Tracinda Corp., down from 53 percent in 2008. But the Fresno-born former boxer and World War II pilot isn’t going away. Through a Tracinda spokesman, Kerkorian said he wants to make a Hollywood acquisition soon and sees opportunities in online film distribution, and in emerging foreign movie markets. That’s a return to familiar territory for Kerkorian, who bought and sold MGM studios three times between 1970 and 2005 but had since avoided tinsel town. In October, donated $18 million to Andre Agassi College Preparatory Academy in Las Vegas, which assists at-risk kids.

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