LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — One of the world’s richest men, casino mogul and GOP power broker Sheldon Adelson has died.
Adelson went on medical leave last week to resume his fight against non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. He died Monday night in California from complications related to his treatment, according to a statement from the Las Vegas Sands Corporation.
Adelson, the founder and CEO of the Las Vegas Sands corporation which owns the Venetian and Palazzo, was 87.
“Sheldon was the love of my life. He was my partner in romance, philanthropy, political activism and enterprise. He was my soulmate,” said Dr. Miriam Adelson in a statement. The couple was together for 32 years.
Adelson was the son of Jewish immigrants, raised in a Boston tenement and sold newspapers on a street corner as a teenager but during the second half of his life he became one of the world’s richest men. Adelson brought Venice and singing gondoliers to the Las Vegas Strip and then went all-in betting Asia would be a bigger jackpot than Sin City.
In 2018, Forbes ranked him No. 15 in the U.S., worth an estimated $35.5 billion.
In Las Vegas he is widely credited for helping transform the city from a gaming-centric regional location into the leading convention and exhibition city in the United States. He created COMDEX, one of the largest trade shows in the world. He also found success in Macao and again in Singapore.
When the pandemic impacted Las Vegas, Adelson is credited with helping his employees through a difficult time.
“Mr. Adelson was adamant that our Team Members across the globe continue to receive full pay and health care benefits even while the buildings in which they worked were closed. There are countless additional untold stories of his warmth and generosity – efforts for which he never sought recognition or publicity and would only reply with a smile if asked about them,” according to a statement released by the Las Vegas Sands.
Adelson and his wife Dr. Miriam Adelson are philanthropists who support numerous causes and charities. They were also major donors to the Republican Party.
He will be buried in Israel and memorial plans in Las Vegas will be announced later.