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Burton Cohen

Paul Haggland (The mayor of Fairbanks, Alaska), Burton Cohen, Hewitt Lounsberry (Mayor of Anchorage, Alaska) at the Sands Hotel
Paul Haggland (The mayor of Fairbanks, Alaska), Burton Cohen, Hewitt Lounsberry (Mayor of Anchorage, Alaska) at the Sands Hotel

Burton Cohen (1923-2014) was a casino executive in Las Vegas, Nevada who held management positions at iconic Strip properties such as the Frontier, Desert Inn, Flamingo, Caesars Palace, Thunderbird, and Dunes. Cohen grew up in Miami, Florida where he graduated from the University of Florida. During World War II he served in the Army Air Corps and trained as a pilot. After returning to the United States he enrolled at the University of Miami and earned a law degree in 1948.

Cohen moved to Las Vegas in 1966 and started his career as general manager and co-owner of the Frontier. He was well known for his leadership of the Desert Inn, where he worked on three separate occasions and where the 1970s television show Vega$ was filmed with his support. He was associated with developers such as Kirk Kerkorian, founder of MGM Resorts International, and Jay Sarno, who created Circus Circus (which Cohen helped to open) and Caesars Palace (where Cohen served as vice president). Cohen was elected into the American Gaming Association's Hall of Fame after his retirement in 1995. At the time of his death in 2014 he was a member of MGM Mirage's board of directors.

Along with Cohen’s successes in the gaming industry in Las Vegas, he was also involved in community organizations. He led a successful Las Vegas Valley United Way campaign and served on the boards of the Southern Nevada Drug Abuse Council, the Boys’ Club of Clark County, and several other organizations. He was also the chairman of the board of trustees at Sunrise Hospital.


Stutz, Howard. "Las Vegas Casino Icon Burton Cohen Dies." Las Vegas Review-Journal. May 6, 2014. Accessed August 7, 2015.

"MGM MIRAGE Elects Burton Cohen to the Board of Directors." April 14, 2010. Accessed August 7, 2015.

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