Frank Lefty Rosenthal Dead: Suffers Heart Attack

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Frank Lefty Rosenthal

MIAMI (AP) - Frank "Lefty" Rosenthal, the sports handicapper, Las Vegas gaming executive and the inspiration for the blockbuster movie "Casino," died Monday. He was 79.

Officials said Rosenthal died from a heart attack in his Miami Beach condo.

Rosenthal, who once survived a car bomb, ran the Chicago mob-owned Stardust, Fremont, Hacienda and Marina casinos through the 1970s and into the mid 1980s.

Sports Illustrated once crowned him the greatest living expert on sports handicapping.

But eventually Rosenthal was listed in Nevada's "black book" of unsavory types banned from the state's casinos because of his ties to the Mafia. He ended up in South Florida.

Nick Pileggi, the author and screenwriter of "Casino," describes Rosenthal as "one of the originals."

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