Tom Gallagher, a prominent Las Vegas area Democrat and businessman has passed away.
Thomas Edmund Gallagher died peacefully on July 15, 2021, at UC Irvine Medical Center following complications from a year-long battle with cancer.
Thomas graduated magnum cum laude from College of the Holy Cross and cum laude from Harvard Law School.
In the early 1970s, Thomas dedicated time to public service, including handling nominations for Attorney General and The Supreme Court while serving as chief legislative counsel for former US Senator John Tunney.
Thomas was a partner for twenty years in the law firm of Gibson Dunn and Crutcher, serving in the firm's Los Angeles and New York offices, and as managing partner of its London and Riyadh offices.
During the late 1980s, he initially served as Merv Griffin's lawyer then transitioned to president and CEO of the Griffin Group, the investment and management company for Merv Griffin’s extensive hotel, gaming, entertainment, and media operations. Five years later his position included CEO of Resorts International.
After the merger of Resorts International with Sun International, he joined Hilton Hotels Corporation as its Executive Vice President and General Counsel, leading the spinoff of its gaming businesses into a new NYSE company Park Place Entertainment. He subsequently became CEO of Park Place (renamed Caesars Entertainment), the world's largest casino resort company at that time.
In 2004, after a successful 33-year career as a businessman and lawyer, Thomas ran for Congress for Nevada’s Third Congressional District. Although he lost his bid, Thomas continued to show his commitment to helping others while serving on the boards of several Nevada non-profit organizations, including the Guinn Center for Policy Priorities (a co-founder), the Black Mountain Institute, and Vegas PBS. He also served as a trustee of the UNLV Foundation and the Desert Research Institute Foundation. Committed to education, in 2017 he joined the UNLV William S.Boyd School of Law and Lee Business School as an Adjunct Professor, teaching Business Law and Ethics.
Tom is survived by his wife Mary Kay, his four adult children, seven grandchildren, his five brothers and two sisters, and many nieces and nephews.