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Leonard Hyman Tose was born March 6, 1915, in Bridgeport, Pa. USA.
His father, who came to the United States from Russia, settled outside Philadelphia and was a peddler with a pack on his back. He eventually owned 10 trucks, the beginning of the family business. Eventually, Tose Inc. owned more than 700 trucks and grossed $20 million a year.
A slim, suave man who always dressed impeccably, Mr. Tose was, by his admission, a compulsive gambler and an alcoholic, with a lifestyle others called flamboyant and he called comfortable. He and the fourth of his five wives had matching Rolls-Royces.
In 1969 Tose bought the Philadelphia Eagles pro football team and later sold the business and the team to pay off more than $25 million in gambling debts at Atlantic City casinos.
In 1991, the Sands sued him for $1.23 million in gambling debts. He countersued, contending that the casino got him too drunk to know what he was doing. Eventually, the casino won. There was testimony from a thingytail waitress swearing that her job description was "to keep Mr. Tose's glass filled." A monogrammed glass, courtesy of the casino, which she kept filled with top-shelf scotch. The jury got to see the markers he signed through a long night of high-stake gambling, $100,000 at 9:20pm, another $100,000 at 9:45pm, another $100,000 at 10:05pm, his signature deteriorating into a splotchy scrawl.
"I had serious blackouts. There were times when I would get up in the morning and nobody even wanted to tell me what I lost. I didn't know whether I lost $50,000 or $500,000. Stupid."
On some nights, he won big, stuffing athletic bags with hundreds of thousands of dollars. In the end, he lost it all, by his estimate more than $20 million at Resorts International and $14 million at the Sands. In 1996, on his 81st birthday, Tose was evicted from his seven-bedroom Villanova mansion after losing the house in a U.S. marshal's sale. Through it all, Mr. Tose remained upbeat. In April 2002 he told The Philadelphia Inquirer:
"I'm doing all right for a man my age, 87. I'm alive."
Tose died on 15 April 2003.