Business Magnate, Former Radio Station Owner Don Barden Passes
May 23, 2011 at 3:48 AM (PT)
DON BARDEN, who started as a record store owner in LORAIN, OH and built a DETROIT-based business empire in the casino and cable television industries, died THURSDAY in DETROIT of lung cancer at 67.
BARDEN, whose BARDEN COMPANIES ranked as the tenth largest black-owned company in BLACK ENTERPRISE magazine's list last year, owned the MAJESTIC STAR casinos in GARY, IN, FITZGERALDS and FITZ casinos in LAS VEGAS, the FITZ casino in TUNICA, MS, FITZGERALDS BLACK HAWK casino in BLACK HAWK, CO, and BARDEN CABLEVISION in the DETROIT area; he owned WLLI, WJTW, and WJOL-A/JOLIET, WKBM/COAL CITY, IL, and WKOT/OTTAWA, IL before selling the group to PRIDE COMMUNICATIONS in 1997. His casino company filed for bankruptcy in 2009 and his operations came under fire earlier this year from his estranged wife BELLA MARSHALL, who went to court claiming that due to his illness, he was unable to oversee the business.