Sheldon Adelson, Billionaire Trump & GOP Donor, Dies At 87
Sheldon G. Adelson, who built the world’s largest casinos and resort hotels in Las Vegas, Macau, Singapore and other gambling destinations, using his wealth to promote right-wing political agendas in America and Israel, died on Monday night at 87.
According to his company, Las Vegas Sands, the cause of death was complications from non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a form of blood cancer. His location of death is yet to be confirmed.
Adelson built a fortune estimated by Forbes in 2014 at $36.6 billion and by Bloomberg Billionaires Index at $40.8 billion, making him the eighth or ninth wealthiest person in the world.
His estimating his wealth has been a roller coaster ride due to his different businesses and revenue fluctuations over the years. After opening the Sands Casino and Resort to the public in 2004, his net worth grew for two years by $1 million an hour. Then in 2009, it fell from $30 billion to $2 billion. By 2013, it increased again, the register ringing up $2 million an hour.
Adelson became one of America’s largest political spenders, the largest single donor in the 2012 elections, following the Supreme Court’s Citizen United ruling in 2019, which removed many limits on political contributions as unconstitutional infringements of free speech.
After Donald Trump became the Republican presidential nominee in May 2016, Adelson told him in a private meeting in Manhattan that he was willing to contribute more to help elect him than he has given to any previous campaign. He ended up giving Trump’s campaign $25 million, being the largest donor.
“He is a candidate with actual C.E.O. experience, shaped and molded by the commitment and risk of his own money rather than the public’s,” Adelson wrote in an op-ed for The Washington Post. He added that Trump “has created a movement in this country that cannot be denied.”
After Trump was elected in November 2016, Adelson gave $5 million to the committee organizing the inauguration festivities. It was the largest single contribution to any president’s inaugural event.
In addition to Trump, Adelson has been a major supporter of other Republican candidates and presidents. He supported President George W. Bush in 2004, giving him $92.7 million to the campaign. Adelson and his wife accompanied George W. Bush to Jerusalem for the 60th anniversary of Israel’s founding.