Solomon Kerzner – affectionately known as Sol – founder of the Southern Sun hotel group Sun International and Kerzner International, died of cancer at his family home today [March 21]. He was 84 years old at the time of his death.

“Always a maverick, Kerzner was a titan of the hotel and resort industry who redefined the scale and scope of integrated destination resorts worldwide,” Kerzner family spokesperson Ian R Douglas said in a statement. “The son of Russian immigrants, Kerzner was born in Johannesburg, South Africa, in 1935. The youngest of four and the only son, Sol was a working class boy from a rough neighbourhood but he would grow up to become one of the most influential entrepreneurs in South Africa.”

Having founded the country’s two largest hotel groups — Southern Sun and Sun International — Kerzner went on to achieve international success with resorts that helped transform the tourism industries not only in South Africa, but Mauritius, The Maldives, The Bahamas, and Dubai to name a few.

“Sol’s career in hospitality began in 1962 when he decided to leave the accounting profession and purchased The Astra, a small inn in Durban, South Africa. He quickly transformed this rundown establishment into one of the most popular hotels in the area, a success that whetted Sol’s insatiable appetite for innovation and demonstrated a trademark ingenuity that would define his 60-year career,” Douglas said.

Kernzer leaves behind his children Andrea, Beverley, Brandon and Chantal and ten grandchildren.

“Sol will be buried at a small, private funeral with only immediate family in attendance,” Douglas said.

Picture: Ian R Douglas/Facebook

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Lucinda is a hard news writer who occasionally dabbles in lifestyle writing, and recent journalism graduate. She is a proud intersectional feminist, and is passionate about actively creating a world which is free of discrimination and inequality.