Casino Mogul Don Barden Dies

May 20, 2011  |  

(Detroit Free Press) — Whatever troubles beset his later years, Don Barden’s place in business history is firmly rooted in two unassailable accomplishments: He was the first African American to own a Las Vegas casino and the first to own a major cable TV franchise.  Those were milestones in a career that saw Barden rise from humble beginnings to control an empire worth more than $400 million in annual revenues. All the while, he inspired others to believe in themselves and work for their dreams.  Barden died Thursday morning at the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute in Detroit. He was 67 and had been fighting lung cancer.  Bob Warfield, a close friend and president and CEO of institutional investment firm Alpha Partners, recalled Thursday that Barden “always had a warm greeting with a big cigar hanging from his mouth. He always had a hug, more than a handshake.”

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