His company said Sheldon Adelson, the chairman and CEO of Las Vegas Sands Corporation and a major donor to Republican politicians, has died after complications related to his cancer treatment. He was 87 years old.
Adelson took time off from Sands last week to resume treatment for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, which his aides first revealed in late February 2019.
He grew up from his difficult childhood in Boston to become one of the richest men in the world as a founder and CEO of Las Vegas Sands Corp. (LVS) was Sands’ first employee, which has since grown to 50,000 employees.
“Its impact on the industry will be forever,” the company said. Sands shares opened slightly higher on Tuesday.
Adelson’s funeral will take place in Israel, the birthplace of his wife, Dr. Myriam Adelson. He planned to erect a monument in Las Vegas, where he would run the Venetian Casino and Palazzo, later on.
Adelson has spent his fortune – pegged at $ 35 billion by Forbes – to become an influential behind-the-scenes player in Washington, shaping US policy toward Israel, helping to direct Republican strategy and lobbying against threats to his business interests.
Donated hundreds of millions of dollars to medical research and Jewish causes. He owned the largest Israeli daily newspaper by circulation. Donated to Yad Vashem, the Jerusalem Holocaust Remembrance Center; She helped secure the right to birth in Israel, which pays for educational trips to Israel for young Jews.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu described Tuesday his “deep sadness and heartbreak” at the death of Adelson.
“Many Jews in the State of Israel and throughout the world participate in this severe mourning,” Netanyahu said in a statement. “Sheldon’s great efforts to enhance Israel’s standing in the United States and to strengthen the relationship between Israel and the diaspora will be remembered for generations.”
But in the United States he may be best known as a massive Republican donor who helped his millions shape the course of the presidential and congressional elections in the post-“United Citizens” era.
Adelson and his wife Miriam have donated hundreds of millions of dollars to top political action groups allied with the Republicans. They have invested more than $ 215 million in federal super-political action committees in the past two years, making them the largest unveiled donors for the 2020 elections, according to a tally by the non-partisan Center for Responsive Politics.
Adelson didn’t always support the frontrunner in fights within the Republican Party.
In the 2012 Republican presidential primaries, for example, Adelson invested heavily in the anti-corruption super-commission that helped extend the term of former House Speaker Newt Gingrich’s term.
In the end, Gingrich lost the nomination to Mitt Romney, but Adelson’s spending confirmed his allegiance to Gingrich, who shared a hard-line stance toward Israel.
In 2016, Adelson emerged as a powerful voice in support of then-candidate Donald Trump at a time when many traditional donors in the Republican Party were reluctant to support the reckless real estate developer.
In May 2016, when Trump clinched the Republican presidential nomination, Adelson wrote an opinion piece in the Washington Post urging the party’s financial beneficiaries to unite behind Trump after a painful primary.
Adelson described Trump as “a CEO success story.”
“You may not like Trump’s style or what he says on Twitter,” Adelson wrote, “but this country needs strong executive leadership today more than at almost any time in its history.”
Later that year, the Adelson family donated $ 20 million to the PAC super committee to support the Trump nomination. Adelson became the largest single contributor to the President’s Inaugural Committee, donating $ 5 million.
The Adelsons have been rewarded for their generosity.
They attended Trump’s inauguration, dined at the White House and were on the front lines in 2018 when US officials opened an American embassy in Jerusalem – a long-standing goal Adelson.
At a ceremony at the White House in 2018, Trump awarded Israeli-born Miriam Adelson the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor. The White House cited her work in support of medical research and Jewish causes.
In a statement on Tuesday afternoon, Trump said that the world had “lost a great man” and that Adelson would be “missed.” He added that Sheldon “lived the true American dream.”
Adelson was born on August 4, 1933 in Boston. His father, an immigrant from Lithuania, drove a taxi, and his mother, whose family comes from Wales, ran a small sewing service. He and his brothers slept on the floor of the family apartment.
Adelson often promoted his story of poverty to wealth and determination to find his way out of poverty.
At the age of twelve, he was selling newspapers on street corners in Boston. By the age of 16, he had invested in candy machines. After a stint in the military, he continued to run businesses, sell housing units, act as a mortgage broker, and take on the role of venture capital.