Sheldon Adelson, the founder and CEO of the Las Vegas Sands, has died. He was 87.
The casino company announced o Adelson’s passing on Tuesday. He died of complications that are related to his treatment for non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.
Apart from being a billionaire and well known in the hotel industry, Adelson was also one of President Donald Trump’s donors.
At one point in time, Adelson was considered to be the third richest man in the world. He also gambled in establishing casinos and hotels in Asia. Many also know Adelson, in his later years, for his activism in politics, including his large donations to Trump and to other GOP members. He is also known for his support for Israel.
In March 2019, the hotel billionaire announced that he was receiving treatment for non-Hodkin’s lymphoma. Recently, he continued receiving the said treatment.
Last week, Sands notified the public that Adelson had taken a leave of absence. He had needed one since his cancer has worsened.
Considered as the richest man in Nevada, Adelson had an estimated net worth of $41.4 billion. He established Las Vegas Sands, which is one of the biggest resort-casino companies globally.
Adelson and his wife, Miriam, are known to be the GOP’s largest financial donors. During the 2018 election cycle, they donated around $123 million to Republican politicians. This is more than any other American has contributed.
In September 2018, the Adelsons even gave $55 million to three conservative political action committees. Because of this, Trump awarded Miriam Adelson with the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Last August, the Adelsons also contributed $75 million into a super PAC which was launched to help in Trump’s re-election campaign.
Sheldon Adelson was born to Jewish immigrants. He served as the Las Vegas Sands Corporation’s chairman and CEO. In 2018, he was ranked 15th in the Forbes U.S. list, with a worth estimated at $35.5 billion.
Adelson is known to host the Republican party’s top strategists and candidates at his modest Las Vegas office. He also made sure that the uncritical support of Iran became a part of the party’s platform. This has become more visible as Trump moved the U.S. Embassy to Tel Aviv in 2018.
Adelson said he hoped his legacy would be his impact in Israel. This has been visible through his actions. He contributed $25 million to the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial in Israel. Adelson also founded a think tank in Jerusalem. He worked closely with the conservative Likud Party. Also, he provided funding for a popular free daily newspaper called “Israel Hayom,” or “Israel Today.”
On the other hand, in the United States, Adelson had a hand in underwriting congressional trips to Israel. He also had a hand in building a new office for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. Adelson also helped young Jewish adults by funding their “Birthright” trips to Israel.
The Political Influence of Adelson in the U.S.
In terms of politics, his engagement only soared in the 90s, which was around the same time his business and wealth boomed. He supported former President George W. Bush in the 2008 presidential race. He also supported that year’s eventual Republican presidential candidate, Sen. John McCain.
His leverage among republicans grew even more in 2010. It came after the Supreme Court released its “Citizens United” decision, which lifted restrictions on the campaign donations of individuals.
His leverage grew considerably in 2010 after the Supreme Court’s “Citizens United” decision lifted many restrictions on individual campaign contributions. He, along with his wife, donated more than $90 million during the 2012 elections where he backed presidential candidates Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney
Adelson did not, however, support Trump right off the bat for the 2016 elections as Trump mentioned he would remain “neutral” when it comes to negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.
However, after Trump surprisingly won, the president started speaking more with Adelson. This made him embrace Adelson’s views on the Middle East. This showed in the policy changes Trump enacted regarding Israel.
Meanwhile, Adelson helped Trump by contributing financially. He donated $5 million for Trump’s inauguration. He also supported the president’s media holdings.
Widely seen by many as Adelson’s influence over Trump, his wife was bestowed the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2018.