American Jewish businessman Sheldon Adelson, a staunch supporter of U.S. President Donald Trump and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, has died at the age of 87.
The casino mogul was the owner of the Israeli daily newspaper Israel Hayom, which is widely known for its strong pro-Netanyahu line.
His wife, Israeli-born Dr. Mirian Adelson, said he died from complications of a long illness. His Las Vegas Sands casino company said he died Monday night from complications related to treatment for non-Hodgkins lymphoma.
According to estimates, the Adelsons donated more than $250 million to the Republican party.
They were known as close friends of Trump and in 2018, he bestowed upon both of them the Presidental Medal of Freedom.
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Sheldon Adelson and his wife Miriam with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Photo – Courtesy
In Israel, Adelson was known primarily as one of Netanyahu’s donors and close allies, beginning with his first term as prime minister that began 1996.
Sheldon Adelson and his wife Miriam with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
Adelson 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 Corporation 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 U.S., worth an estimated $35.5 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 GOP donor over the final years of his life, at times setting records for individual contributions during a given election cycle.
“He was an American patriot, a generous benefactor of charitable causes, and a strong supporter of Israel,” former President George W. Bush said in a statement.