Adelson, Sheldon Gary

Adelson, Sheldon Gary, 1933-2021, American casino owner and political donor, b. Boston, MA. Adelson was born to poor, Jewish, Eastern European immigrants. After attending, but not completing, college and pursuing a variety of business interests, he partnered with three other investors to establish the Comdex computer show in Las Vegas in 1979, which was the leading computer industry expo through the end of the 20th century. In 1989, he purchased the fabled Sands Hotel; seven years later, he tore it down to build the Venetian, a lavish resort that replicated the canals of Venice as its major attraction besides its mammoth gambling halls. He followed with the Macao Venetian in 2007, the seventh largest building in the world, and an immediate attraction to China's nouveau riche. While his estimated net worth fluctuated over the years, in 2019 Forbes magazine pegged his total holdings at $35 billion, placing him among the top 10 wealthiest people on the planet. From 2004, he was a major donor to Republican presidential candidates, the largest single donor to any candidate in 2012, and among the only wealthy contributors to support Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign. He was a strong supporter of conservative causes, both at home and in Israel. His support for the conservative Lukid party led him to convince Trump to move the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem in 2018.

See study by J. Mayer (2016).

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