Sheldon Adelson, the billionaire mogul and power broker who built a casino empire spanning from Las Vegas to China and became a singular force in domestic and international politics, has died after a long illness, his wife said.
Adelson died at 87 from complications related to treatment for non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, Las Vegas Sands announced on Tuesday, local time.
At one point the third richest man in the world, Adelson brought singing gondoliers to the Las Vegas Strip and went all-in betting Asia would be a bigger jackpot than Sin City.
He was the son of Jewish immigrants, raised with two siblings in a Boston tenement, who over the second half of his life became one of the world’s richest men. The chairman and CEO of the Las Vegas Sands Corproation brought singing gondoliers to the Las Vegas Strip and foresaw correctly that Asia would be an even bigger market. In 2018, Forbes ranked him No.15 in the US, worth an estimated $35.5 billion ($46 billion).
“If you do things differently, success will follow you like a shadow,” he said during a 2014 talk to the gambling industry in Las Vegas.
Blunt yet secretive, the squatly built Adelson resembled an old-fashioned political boss and stood apart from most American Jews, who for decades have supported Democrats by wide margins. Adelson was considered the nation’s most influential Republican donor over the final years of his life, at times setting records for individual contributions during a given election cycle.