Casino magnate Sheldon Adelson dies aged 87
Sheldon Adelson, the Las Vegas casino tycoon who was a well-known massive Republican donor and major supporter of Donald Trump and his campaigns, has died at age 87 after a long battle with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, his wife announced on Tuesday.
“Sheldon was the love of my life. He was my partner in romance, philanthropy, political activism and enterprise. He was my soulmate,” said his wife Miriam Adelson. “To me — as to his children, grandchildren, and his legions of friends and admirers, employees and colleagues — he is utterly irreplaceable.”
Miriam Adelson, who is a doctor, was awarded Trump’s Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2018. Sheldon Adelson was chairman and chief executive officer of Las Vegas Sands, the world’s largest casino operator.
Born into a poor family of Jewish immigrants, he borrowed money from his uncle at a young age to start selling newspapers on Boston streets during the Great Depression. Many years later, he became a multibillionaire.
“Despite being the grandson of a Welsh coal miner and the son of a Boston cab driver, I’ve had the remarkable experience of being part of almost 50 different businesses in my more than 70-year business career,” wrote Adelson in the Washington Post in 2016.
He was the first to ever combine luxury hotel-resort casinos with convention centers after founding the Las Vegas Sands in 1988, which permitted attendees to network during the day and let their hair down during nighttime. This was of course ridiculed at the time, but that exact business model is now used not only in the Vegas strip, but also all across the globe.
He took a leave of absence not long ago to resume treatment, with the board of directors appointing COO Robert Goldstein as acting chairman and acting CEO. Bloomberg estimates Adelson’s net worth to be a little over $33 billion at the time of his death, rendering him the 38th richest person in the entire world.
Adelson and his wife were known to donate major amounts to the Republican Party over the years, even donating $30 million to Trump in the last few months of the 2016 campaign. They also contributed $100 million during the 2018 midterm campaign.
Adelson’s favourite political causes included his steadfast support for Israel and opposition to online gaming. The Adelsons, whose devotion to Israel was no secret, were also proprietors of Israel Hayom and the Las Vegas Review-Journal.