Sunday, May 29, 2011

Don Barden, entrepreneur, dies at 67

Don Barden, the first Black Casino owner and life long entrepreneur, pass away in Detroit at 67. He was the first African-American to own a casino and a major cable tv franchise. He was the owner of Barden Companies Inc., the Majestic Star and Fitzgerald's casinos and Waycor Development Co.. Barden's companies were said to be worth $500 million at one time but several are currently in bankruptcy.

Mr. Barden was born in Inkster, MI, a suburb of Detroit. We was educated at Central State University of Ohio and operated a record store in Loraine, OH. He later became a city councilman, a news anchor and a TV talk show host. He also owned real estate in Ohio.

Mayor Coleman Young gave him the first cable TV franchise in Detroit. He later sold the franchise to comcast. With the proceeds, he built casino's in Las Vegas, Colorado, Indiana and Tunica, Mississippi. However, Detroit, his home town, denied him one of the seven license to operate a casino.

Here is the Michigan Citizen on Don Barden.

Don Barden in the Detroit Free Press.

Detroit News Article

NYtimes Obituary

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