Moe Dalitz

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Moe Dalitz
Born December 25, 1899
Boston, Massachusetts
Died August 31, 1989
Occupation Businessman
Spouse(s) Averill Dalitz
Children Suzanne Dalitz

Morris Barney Dalitz (December 25, 1899 – August 31, 1989), known as Moe Dalitz, was an American businessman and casino owner. He was one of the major figures who shaped Las Vegas, Nevada in the 20th century. He was often referred to as "Mr. Las Vegas."[1]


Early life[edit]

Morris Barney Dalitz was born on December 25, 1899 in Boston, Massachusetts. He grew up in Michigan. He worked in his family's laundry business early on, but began his career in bootlegging when Prohibition began in 1919, and capitalized on his access to the laundry trucks in the family business. Additionally he developed a partnership with the Maceo syndicate which ran Galveston and supplied liquor from Canada and Mexico.[2]


His investments in Las Vegas began in the late 1940s with the Desert Inn when the original builder of the resort, Wilbur Clark, ran out of money, and Dalitz took over the construction. When it opened in 1950, Clark remained the public face and frontman of the resort, while Dalitz quietly remained in the background as the real owner. He also ran the Stardust Resort & Casino for a time after the death of Tony Cornero. Dalitz owned the Desert Inn until 1967, when he sold it to businessman Howard Hughes. The last casino that Dalitz owned was the Sundance Hotel Casino, later renamed the Fitzgerald,[3] and most recently, The D Las Vegas.

With Allard Roen, Irwin Molasky and Merv Adelson, he founded Paradise Development, a real estate development company in the 1950s.[4] Together, they founded the Sunrise Hospital, The Boulevard Mall and the Las Vegas Country Club.[4] Later, they co-founded the La Costa Resort and Spa in Carlsbad, California.[4]

In 1982, Dalitz received the "Torch of Liberty" award from the Anti-Defamation League. It was presented by comedian Joan Rivers.[1]

Personal life[edit]

Dalitz was married to Averill Dalitz and they had one daughter, Suzanne.[3] They lived in Las Vegas, New York, Mexico and Switzerland.


  1. ^ a b Balboni, Alan (1999). "Moe Dalitz: Controversial Founding Father of Modern Las Vegas". In Davies, Richard O. The Maverick Spirit: Building the New Nevada. Wilbur S. Shepperson series in history and humanities. University of Nevada Press. pp. 23–43. ISBN 0874173272. Retrieved April 26, 2014. 
  2. ^ Newton, Michael (2009). Mr. Mob: The Life and Crimes of Moe Dalitz. McFarland. pp. 40–41. 
  3. ^ a b Hyman, Herbert (September 1, 1989). "Las Vegas gaming pioneer ‘Moe’ Dalitz dies at 89". Las Vegas Sun. Retrieved April 26, 2014. 
  4. ^ a b c Ed Koch, Desert Inn, Stardust chief helped integrate Las Vegas Strip, Las Vegas Sun, September 1, 2008

Further reading[edit]

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