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Jack Wishna, 54; dealmaker worked big names in Vegas

JACK WISHNA

Las Vegas Review-Journal/2011

JACK WISHNA

LAS VEGAS — A dealmaker who helped bring Donald Trump to Sin City, courted ­Michael Jackson for a casino residency, and consulted for Treasure Island owner Phil Ruffin was found dead at his Las Vegas-area home. Jack Wishna, 54, was found Tuesday.

The circumstances surrounding his death were unknown. Murphy said he hoped investigators would be able to determine the cause of death Wednesday afternoon.

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The well-known wheeler and dealer will be remembered for orchestrating a multimillion-dollar agreement between performer Wayne Newton and the Stardust casino, said Dan Wilinsky, a spokesman for Mr. Wishna’s latest project.

He’s credited with bringing Trump and Ruffin together to build the Trump International Tower in Las Vegas, and he was also instrumental in convincing Jackson to return from his extended stay abroad in the mid-2000s, said Randall Sullivan, author of ‘‘Untouchable: The Strange Life and Tragic Death of Michael Jackson.’’

Jackson, who had been castle-hopping in Ireland, came straight to Las Vegas from Dublin.

‘‘Michael arrived in a private jet and Wishna and his wife were there to meet him,’’ Sullivan said. ‘‘So that tells you that Wishna was the guy in ­Michael’s life at the time.’’

Mr. Wishna had been planning to install the singer in a new themed casino.

‘‘They were thinking the front would be a set of flashing lights, a picture of Michael Jackson,’’ Sullivan said.

After the singer’s death, Mr. Wishna worked to establish a Jackson-themed Cirque du ­Soleil production.

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