Thomas Gallagher wore many hats all through his life and will spin a heck of a yarn from any certainly one of them.
Lawyer. Businessman. Candidate. Philanthropist. Mentor.
His fingerprints are throughout Nevada, however he was by no means the kind to be taken together with his titles, in keeping with Jan Jones Blackhurst, who labored with him once they had been on line casino executives at completely different corporations.
Gallagher died Thursday at UCI Medical Middle in Irvine, California, from problems attributable to most cancers, in keeping with his household obituary. He was 76.
“We should always all try to be like Tom Gallagher,” Jones Blackhurst, now a Caesars Leisure government, mentioned Monday.
Gallagher was born Dec. 10, 1944, in Michigan and grew up in Detroit. He was the oldest of eight kids born to Edmund and Monica Gallagher, the obituary mentioned. He graduated from Faculty of the Holy Cross and Harvard Regulation College.
His profession in legislation and enterprise spanned three a long time. Alongside the way in which he served as chief legislative counsel for former U.S. Sen. John Tunney within the early Nineteen Seventies, associate for 20 years within the Los Angeles-based legislation agency Gibson, Dunn and Crutcher, and lawyer for leisure big Merv Griffin within the late Nineteen Eighties.
He later grew to become the president and CEO of Griffin Group, which included Griffin’s broad portfolio of lodge, gaming, media and leisure companies, the obituary mentioned. Gallagher held a number of government titles at numerous hospitality corporations till 2000 when he grew to become CEO of Park Place Leisure, which might be renamed Caesars Leisure a few years after he left the corporate in 2002.
“Caesars Leisure is saddened by the lack of Tom Gallagher,” a spokesperson mentioned in an announcement Monday. “Gallagher led the corporate … throughout extremely tough occasions together with Sept. 11, and even put up his time with us, continued to contribute to the expansion of Nevada and its communities by way of schooling, philanthropy and extra. The legacy he leaves behind is one we’re proud to be part of and our hearts are together with his household.”
Jones Blackhurst mentioned Gallagher would prioritize hiring and selling girls and other people of colour at a time when the company world paid little thoughts to workers diversification. She mentioned she labored with him in philanthropic initiatives and as a “shadow cupboard” adviser throughout his bid for U.S. Congress as a Democrat in 2004; he misplaced to incumbent GOP Rep. Jon Porter in District 3.
“Despite the fact that he didn’t win that election, all the issues he realized, that he believed had been vital about why he was operating for workplace, he saved doing them. He simply did them as a person, not as a congressman,” Jones Blackhurst mentioned. “To me, that’s the type of individuals we ought to be electing.”
Porter, who now runs a Washington, D.C.-based consulting agency, supplied an announcement on his former challenger’s passing.
“Nevada has misplaced an inspirational chief,” Porter mentioned within the assertion. “Whereas Tom Gallagher made an influence on the world stage, he by no means overpassed Nevada as evidenced by the numerous contributions he left as his legacy – his ardour for this state, its communities and other people won’t be forgotten. Most of all, Tom was sort and beneficiant and I’m proud to name him a pal. My heartfelt condolences to his household.”
It was on this marketing campaign the place Gallagher bonded with Roberta Lange, then a marketing campaign staffer, now a state senator.
He was a larger-than-life determine, she mentioned, but somebody who might stroll into an worker eating room at a Caesars property (as Lange remembers from the marketing campaign) and everyone knew him from his each day visits as CEO. Gallagher would grow to be a mentor, sounding board and honorary member of the family to Lange — he bestowed the nickname “house run” upon Lange’s son when he performed peewee baseball as a child.
“You marvel typically why the great individuals have to go away us. And he was a kind of good individuals,” mentioned Lange, a Democrat of Las Vegas.
The 2 talked on the telephone or shared a meal practically day by day for 18 years, Lange mentioned. He challenged her and others to do extra and higher of their lives.
“I bear in mind the day I informed him that I used to be going to run for senate,” she mentioned. “And he mentioned to me, ‘What took you so lengthy? Lastly.’”
She gained a major election final June and the overall election in November. Once more they spoke. “He referred to as me once I was in my workplace that day, and he goes, ‘Properly, inform me how it’s.’ And I mentioned, ‘I’m sitting at my desk. And I really feel like this was the place I used to be all the time speculated to be.’”
“He goes, ‘and also you had been.’”
He co-founded the Guinn Middle for Coverage Priorities and served on the boards of different nonprofit teams together with the Black Mountain Institute at UNLV and Las Vegas’ native PBS station. He was additionally a trustee for the Desert Analysis Institute Basis and the UNLV Basis.
Gallagher stood out with “his dedication to creating dialog doable, to being open to new concepts, daring concepts, when it comes to when it comes to public discourse,” mentioned Michael Ursell, director of exterior relations on the Black Mountain Institute.
He dedicated to selling democracy, bipartisanship and the change of concepts by way of his, mentioned Nancy Brune, government director on the Guinn Middle. It was Gallagher who picked former Gov. Kenny Guinn because the bipartisan analysis group’s namesake as a result of he embodied the values Gallagher sought to advance, she mentioned.
“He introduced the usual of excellence to all the things that he touched,” Brune mentioned.
In 2017, Gallagher joined UNLV as an adjunct school member and taught enterprise legislation and ethics. Although he was not a professor, he certain appeared the half, mentioned Bo Bernhard, government director of UNLV’s Worldwide Gaming Institute. Gallagher stood out amongst CEOs as a “champion within the trenches” for his group who would find time for others to choose his mind.
“That’s simply uncommon,” he mentioned.
He clearly liked instructing and mentoring college students by speaking about his personal “assorted and interesting” profession path, added Nancy Rapaport, a UNLV legislation professor who taught a category in “company scandals” earlier than Gallagher did.
“His tales had been legendary,” she mentioned. “He simply he might pull you in, and it was as for those who had been there residing the second with him.”
He cared deeply about schooling and would’ve made a terrific professor, mentioned Alan Feldman, distinguished fellow of accountable gaming at UNLV’s gaming institute. Gallagher acknowledged that a good suggestion might come from anybody or wherever and wasn’t afraid to be taught one thing new.
“He was very good however didn’t should be the neatest man within the room — nor did he must show that to anyone,” Feldman mentioned.
UNLV President Keith Witfield tweeted an announcement Monday about Gallagher’s loss of life: “On behalf of the @UNLV group, we ship our condolences to the household of Tom Gallagher. We had been saddened to be taught of his passing, & UNLV will always remember the influence he had right here & in Southern NV. Our hearts exit to his spouse, household, & family members throughout this tough time.”
Gallagher is survived by his spouse, his 4 grownup kids, seven grandchildren, seven siblings and plenty of nieces and nephews. He was preceded in loss of life by his dad and mom and a granddaughter.
He might be cremated in Orange, California, and a mass will comply with at a later time, the obituary mentioned. His family members requested for donations in his title to the Desert Analysis Institute in Reno in lieu of flowers.