Sheldon Adelson

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Sheldon Gary Adelson born August 4, 1933 is an American business magnate, investor, and philanthropist. He is the founder, chairman and chief executive officer of Las Vegas Sands Corporation, which owns the Marina Bay Sands in Singapore, and is the parent company of Venetian Macao Limited, which operates The Venetian Resort Hotel Casino and the Sands Expo and Convention Center. He also owns the Israeli daily newspaper Israel Hayom and the American daily newspaper Las Vegas Review-Journal. As of June 2019, Adelson was listed by Forbes as having a fortune of $35.7 billion, making him the 24th-richest person in the world. He is a major contributor to Republican Party candidates.

Sheldon Gary Adelson was born on the 4th of August 1933, into a low-income family and grew up in the Dorchester neighborhood of Boston, the son of  and Arthur Adelson. His father drove a taxi, and his mother ran a knitting shop.He started his business career at the age of 12, when he borrowed $200 from his uncle and purchased a license to sell newspapers in Boston.  At age 16 in 1948, he then borrowed $10,000 from his uncle to start a candy-vending-machine business. He attended trade school to become a court reporter and subsequently joined the army. Adelson attended City College of New York, but decided to drop out, allowing more time for entrepreneurship.

He established a business selling toiletry kits after being discharged from the army then started another business named De-Ice-It, which sold a chemical spray to help clear frozen windshields.  In the 1960s, he started a charter tours business.  He had soon become a millionaire, although by his 30s he had built and lost a fortune twice. Over the course of his business career, Adelson has created almost 50 of his own businesses.

Sheldon’s built his fortune immensely along with his partners when they found ‘COMDEX’ a computer trade show which began in 1979. It was the premier computer trade show through much of the 1980s and 1990s.  In 1988, he and his partners bought the Sands Hotel and Casino. After gaining massive profits they decided to go further. He remodeled the Sands according to his business ideal. He then constructed a shopping mall, resort and convention center that would hold his business events such as COMDEX. While honeymooning with his second wife in Italy, Sheldon got highly inspired by the architecture there and got the idea of building a mega resort hotel.


Sheldon and the co-owners at COMDEX sold its Interface Group Show Division to SoftBank Corporation for $862 million with Sheldon Adelson getting more than 500 million. Sheldon then ended all his partnerships and went on to build his own Venetian Resort Hotel and the Sands Expo and Convention Center. After the success of this business venture he got offered an agreement to launch another casino resort on Macao, the Chinese Island. In 2006, he got offered the license to construct yet another casino resort, this time in Marina Bay in Singapore. It opened in 2010 and costed $5.5 billion.Sheldon has been very supportive as a philanthropist.  Adelson donated over $25 million to The Adelson Educational Campus in Las Vegas to build a high school.  In 2006, Adelson contributed $25 million to the Yad Vashem Holocaust Martyrs’ and Heroes’ Remembrance Authority.

Since 2007, the Adelson Family Foundation has made contributions totaling $140 million to Birthright Israel, which finances Jewish youth trips to Israel.  He also donated $5 million to the Friends of the Israel Defense Forces in 2014.  Adelson also has funded the private, Boston-based Dr. Miriam and Sheldon G. Adelson Medical Research Foundation. This foundation initiated the Adelson Program in Neural Repair and Rehabilitation (APNRR) with $7.5 million donated to collaborating researchers at 10 universities.

In a 2016 listing of the top 100 people positively influencing Jewish life, Adelson was described as one of the world’s most generous and influential Jewish philanthropists, who ‘continues to make outsized gifts to a range of Jewish and non-Jewish groups’.He has been honored with many awards including the ‘Woodrow Wilson Award in 2008 and the Chairman’s Award from the Nevada Policy Research Institute. President George W. Bush selected him to accompany the Honorary Delegation to Jerusalem on the 60thanniversary of Israel in 2008.

In 2014, Adelson was named to CNBC’s list of 200 people who have transformed business over the last 25 years; those on the list were described as “top leaders, icons and rebels, a definitive list of people who have had the greatest influence, sparked the biggest changes and caused the most disruption in business over the past quarter century.”