LEFTY ROSENTHAL DIES

LEFTY ROSENTHAL

One of the most colorful figures in Las Vegas history has died.

Frank “Lefty” Rosenthal passed away at his Florida home. He was 79.

Millions of people are familiar with Rosenthal from Robert De Niro’s performance in the 1995 Martin Scorsese movie Casino. De Niro’s character, Sam “Ace” Rothstein, was based on Rosenthal. Many of the events portrayed in the movie were %100 true. Rosenthal had a criminal background in Chicago for illegal gambling. He did come west and eventually headed a Las Vegas sportsbook. He married a Sharon Stone-like woman who took his money and died of a drug overdose and he did host a Las Vegas tv talk show. Oscar Goodman (later the mayor of Las Vegas) really was his lawyer. He also really did survive a 1982 assassination attempt by the mafia with a car bomb.

 

FRANK SINATRA ON THE LEFTY ROSSENTHAL SHOW

Rosenthal was one of the pioneering figures in sports gambling. He was the sportsbook director at the Stardust (renamed the “Tangiers” in the fictional movie version.) The Stardust is believed to be the first Las Vegas sportsbook to ever offer point spread betting. One of the things the movie glossed over was Rosenthal’s role in bribing college basketball players to fix games. He had numerous book making convictions in Chicago.

 

LEFTY ROSENTHAL’S 1981 CADILLAC AFTER CAR BOMB ATTEMPT ON HIS LIFE

Rosenthal was eventually placed in Nevada’s Black Book and banned from all casinos. Legend has it that Rosenthal acquired the nickname “Lefty” after pleading the Fifth Amendment 37 times in one court case. Rosenthal even pleaded the Fifth when prosecutors asked him if he was left-handed.

 

ROBERT DE NIRO AS “ACE ROTHSTEIN”

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2 Responses to “LEFTY ROSENTHAL DIES”

  1. Illy - West Palm Beach, Florida Says:

    I was a old friend of daughter Stephanie and I would like to know how I can get in touch with her to show my respects. If anyone knows her please have her contact Illy, via e-mail at illyman@comcast.net.

    Thank you

  2. CAM Says:

    Just finished watching Casino on DVD and am wondering about something not discussed. What happened to the young daughter after Geri went her own way and died of overdoses. The final scenes of movie make it appear that Frank settled in Florida on his own. His daughter still had to be quite young at that time.

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