With only seventy percent of the Stardust finished and no more capital, Cornero had to turn to the east coast mob. He set out for the Desert Inn on a last chance meeting with Vegas godfather, Moe Dalitz. They met for long hours discussing plans for the Stardust. Cornero was asked to go downstairs to drink and gamble while the mob discussed internally. His destiny hanging over him, Cornero quickly fell into the hole for ten thousand dollars at the Craps table. He then took a long draft of his seven and seven and collapsed. Within eight hours his poisoned body was shipped back to Los Angeles and buried in the Inglewood cemetery without an autopsy.


Of the estimated twenty-five million dollars that Cornero earned during his career, he died with less than eight hundred dollars in his possession. The east coast mob took over construction of the Stardust. It opened at noon on July 2, 1958 and was welcomed in by governors, senators, city and county officials and Hollywood celebrities. It would go on to become a world famous landmark and home to the likes of Sinatra and his Rat Pack.


If any one hoodlum could take claim for inventing modern Las Vegas, it was Tony “the Hat” Cornero.




We are here today to pay tribute and our respect to a man of God

Our brother Tony Cornero.

O God, by your mercy rest is given to the souls of the faithful,

Please bless this grave.  Appoint your holy angels to guard it

and set free from all the chains of sin and the soul of Tony whose body is buried here

so that with all Thy saints he may rejoice in Thee for ever and ever. Amen


Tony… Tony Cornero

Your time has come. You have done all the wrongs that I've asked

So come along wont ya. Come along.

We are waiting for you down below.


Fare Thee Well

And Godspeed

The time has come to pass, your soul

The ship has found a mast, at last

Goodbye, farewell our Admiral


Fare Thee Well

And Godspeed

The stars have fallen fast, black hole

No running from the past, at last

Goodbye old friend


So ring them bells and let them all know

Ring them bells

The devil's waiting to take you below

Fare thee well

A gambler's high on an all time low

And so it goes

Ring them bells

Ring them bells

And we'll all meet up in hell