According to online sources, Sheldon Adelson, an 87-year-old philanthropist and business mogul, died on Tuesday, January 11th. Adelson was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a kind of non-lymphoma lymphoma, in February 2019. He had been fighting this blood cancer for two years before passing away abruptly at his home in Malibu, California, as a result of complications from the medical treatment he was receiving.
Forbes magazine ranked him as the 19th richest person in the United States at the time of his death, with an estimated net worth of $29 billion. He is survived by five children from two distinct marriages.
Adelson’s life was a remarkable story of rising from poverty to wealth. He was born to Jewish immigrants. He claimed to be so destitute that he couldn’t even afford rags. He grew up in Dorchester, Massachusetts, a low-income neighborhood where his mother managed a knitting company and his father drove a cab. At the age of 12, he began selling newspapers with the help of a $200 license loan from his uncle, demonstrating a natural flair for business. He worked as a candy vending machine operator and trained to become a court reporter before joining the military at the age of 21.
According to onlineunitedstatescasinos.com, he founded over fifty different businesses over his seventy-year entrepreneurial career, but he is most known for his contributions to the gambling industry. When he was in his 30s, he made a fortune by launching a charter tour company. He is famous for comparing businesses to buses and proclaiming, “There is no end to either.” They appear to keep coming.”
He focused his charitable endeavors in his latter years through the Adelson Foundation, which he and his second wife, Miriam, established as a nonprofit organization in 2007. The Adelson Family Foundation and the Adelson Medical Research Foundation are two separate sub-organizations of the Foundation. The latter’s primary focus was on researching potential treatments for neurological illnesses, cancer, and other maladies. Adelson became an outspoken opponent of illegal drugs after his son Mitchell died of a drug overdose in 2005. (from a previous marriage) He took a strong stance against drug addiction and marijuana legalization in the United States, and he frequently questioned marijuana’s legality.
Sheldon Adelson and the Las Vegas Strip
Despite his success in a range of industries, Adelson is most known as a casino mogul, as previously noted. Many business leaders in Las Vegas credit him for transforming the desert city from a gaming-focused regional getaway to the country’s leading exposition and convention center.
In 1988, he paid financier Kirk Kerkorian $110 million for control of the Sands Hotel and Casino via the Interface Group. The company’s purpose was to construct a venue in Las Vegas for its annual COMDEX trade show. COMDEX, an abbreviation for Computer Dealers Exposition, was one of the greatest trade fairs for any computer-related company beginning in 1979. Adelson departed the firm in 1995, selling it to the Japanese conglomerate SoftBank Group; the company declared bankruptcy in 2003.
Adelson and his business partners built the Sands Expo and Convention Center in Las Vegas a year after purchasing the Sands Hotel and Casino. When it was first built, the Sands Expo & Conference Facility had 1.1 million square feet of space, making it the world’s second-largest conference center. The next year, while on honeymoon with Miriam in Venice, Adelson got the idea to develop a megaresort on the Las Vegas Strip.
In 1996, he chose to demolish the Sands Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas and replace it with the $1.5 billion Venetian Las Vegas, which did not open until May 1999. The Venetian is the world’s second-largest hotel, while The Venetian Macao, its sister venue, is the world’s second-largest casino. Adelson claimed in 2019 that he believes The Venetian heralded a new era of integrated resort development.
In 2004, Las Vegas Sands Corporation began construction on the $1.6 billion Palazzo complex on South Las Vegas Boulevard. Las Vegas Sands Inc. changed its name to Las Vegas Sands Corporation after going public the next year. When Adelson died, he was the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Las Vegas Sands Corporation. The company employs around 51,000 employees and has approximately $23 billion in assets.
Adelson sought to expand his firm beyond Las Vegas after achieving success there. He has been nicknamed “The Man Who Brought Casinos to China” by several tabloids as a result of the Last Vegas Sands Corporation’s May 2004 opening of the first-ever Vegas-style casino in China, the Sands Macao. Three years later, in Macau’s Cotai Strip, the Sands Corporation opened the Venetian Macao. The entire cost of the facility was $2.4 billion. His casino holdings include properties outside of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, and Marina Bay, Singapore.
Adelson purchased the Las Vegas Review-Journal through his limited liability company, News + Media Capital Group, in 2015. Many facts of the transaction remained unclear until the newspaper was forced to reveal its new owner, and the Adelson family’s identity was concealed. Many analysts saw Adelson’s $140 million sale price as an overpayment and a power maneuver by Adelson to further his political goals by backing Donald Trump’s presidential campaign.
Participation in Politics
Adelson was raised as a Democrat but switched parties later in life, identifying as a Republican and claiming, “I did not desert the Democrats. They turned and walked away from me.
Adelson has made significant contributions to the Republican National Committee. Sheldon and Miriam Adelson have given more than $500 million to various super PACs and the Republican Party in the preceding ten years, according to public records. During the 2022 election cycle alone, the Adelsons contributed more than $200 million to Donald Trump’s campaign, making them by far the most significant backers of Trump’s campaign, which included anti-Biden efforts.
The Adelsons, on the other hand, have indicated strong support for more than one Republican candidate other than Donald Trump. More than $92 million was contributed to Mitt Romney and other Republican candidates during the 2012 election campaign. Adelson also contributed to George W. Bush, the former president of the United States.
Sheldon’s opposition to marijuana usage was evident during the 2016 election season, when he donated to anti-legalization organizations in Arizona, Nevada, Florida, and Massachusetts. His $9 million in donations were only effective in preventing similar laws from being implemented in Arizona.
He was vehemently opposed to online casinos and internet poker in his later years. Spending money to overturn state legislation that legalized online gambling, which he called “a deadly, trainwreck waiting to happen.
Adelson, who is Jewish, attempted to exert political and financial influence in Israel. He was a strong admirer of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and worked with the Israeli-American Council to push Israel’s interests in Congress and at the White House. “Israel will long remember Sheldon and his great contribution to our nation and the Jewish people,” Netanyahu said immediately after his death.
Adelson owns the Israeli weekly Makor Rishon as well as the free daily Israel Hayom. Both were commonly considered Netanyahu’s policy mouthpieces. Over the years, the Adelson Family Foundation has provided more than $140 million to Birthright Israel.
Adelson spent $88 million for the US ambassador’s official residence in Tel Aviv in 2022. He did so to keep the embassy from being transferred to Tel Aviv once Trump leaves office.
Imagining a World Without Adelson
Sheldon Adelson was noted for having a tight hold on his casino business, of which he remained chairman until four days before his death from Non-Lymphoma Hodgkin’s treatments. Former partners and business insiders say he always made it clear who was in charge and never surrendered control.
Following his death, his wife Miriam now controls the majority of the family shares through a series of trusts, accounting for around 57 percent of his enterprises’ interests, or $24 billion. The casino magnate was notorious for establishing a trust to avoid paying gift taxes on securities transfers to his family. In other circumstances, she shares ownership of these assets with Irwin Chafetz, Adelson’s longtime business associate.
The Las Vegas Sands Corporation’s operations have now been transferred to 65-year-old board member Robert G. Goldstein, who has been with the corporation since 1995. He now serves as temporary CEO and chairman of all Sands operations in the United States and China.
If Goldstein decides to retire, his replacement should be Patrick Dumont, a 46-year-old chief financial officer who has been with the firm for five years. Many individuals consider Dumont to be one of the industry’s best CFOs. However, Thomas Allen, Executive Director at Morgan Stanley, believes that one of the Adelson family members might ultimately take over as CEO.
Morningstar analyst Dan Wasiolek believes that nothing will change in the wake of the icon’s death, particularly in terms of its focus on its shareholders’ return of capital investment-grade quality or high return development criterion.