Lefty Rosenthal, Kingpin in Las Vegas, Dies at 79
On the evening of Oct. 4, 1982, Lefty Rosenthal, the talented professional gambler and gangster-when-necessary who had brought sports betting to casinos in Las Vegas and illicitly run an empire of four hotel casinos, walked out of Tony Roma’s on East Sahara Avenue with an order of takeout ribs. He had just finished dinner with some fellow handicappers, and he was bringing the food home for his two children. When he got into his car, it blew up.
Mr. Rosenthal survived the explosion — later he could not remember whether he had turned the ignition key — but the attempt on his life, for which no one was ever prosecuted, ended his career as one of the most powerful men in Las Vegas. He left the city early the next year and on Monday, at home in Miami Beach, he died. He was 79 and had lived in Florida since the late 1980s.
His death was confirmed by Eric Yuhr, assistant chief of the Miami Beach Fire Department, which removed the body. He did not give a cause.( Collapse )