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Gaming Executive Cohen Dies; Famed for Punching Sinatra

December 29, 1986|Associated Press

LAS VEGAS — Carl Cohen, a longtime gaming executive best known for punching Frank Sinatra in 1967, has died after a lengthy illness. He was 73.

Cohen, a former vice president at the Sands Hotel and the MGM Grand Hotel, died last week. He was buried Sunday at a local cemetery.

Cohen was a Sands executive in 1967 when he angered Sinatra by cutting off the singer's casino credit.

Witnesses said Sinatra tipped a table over on Cohen, who responded by punching the singer in the face. The blow bloodied Sinatra's nose and reportedly knocked out two teeth.

After the fight, posters reportedly appeared in Las Vegas proclaiming "Elect Carl Cohen Mayor."

Cohen began his career in Las Vegas in the early 1940s, and in 1943 became part owner of the El Rancho Vegas, the first resort on the Las Vegas Strip. Cohen was a native of Cleveland.

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