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Remembering Casino Mogul Sheldon Adelson

Sheldon Adelson, the multi-billionaire casino mogul and Las Vegas Sands Corporation founder, has passed away at 87. 

Adelson passed away yesterday after complications related to treatment for his non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, according to a statement from the Las Vegas Sands. 

The Las Vegas Sands released this statement on Tuesday:

Our founder and visionary leader, Sheldon G. Adelson, passed away last night at the age of 87 from complications related to treatment for non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.  

Born to immigrant parents and raised in a poor section of Boston, Mr. Adelson went from a teenager selling newspapers on a street corner to becoming one of the world’s most successful entrepreneurs. His achievements in the integrated resort and hospitality industry are well-documented.  

In Las Vegas, Macao and Singapore, Mr. Adelson’s vision for integrated resorts transformed the industry, changed the trajectory of the company he founded, and reimagined tourism in each of those markets.  

His impact on the industry will be everlasting. Mr. Adelson was the first employee of Las Vegas Sands – “Team Member Number One” he liked to say.  

Today, more than 50,000 Sands team members have Dr. Adelson and the entire Adelson family in their thoughts and prayers and are grateful to have had their lives touched by a true force of nature. 

When the pandemic disrupted daily routines and dramatically impacted his business, Mr. Adelson was adamant that our Team Members across the globe continue to receive full pay and health care benefits even while the buildings in which they worked were closed.  

There are countless additional untold stories of his warmth and generosity – efforts for which he never sought recognition or publicity and would only reply with a smile if asked about them. 

While his business credentials – having started or been involved in more than 50 different enterprises – are unquestioned, his dedication to philanthropy and commitment to his family will truly be his legacy.  He will be missed by people from all parts of the world who were touched by his generosity, kindness, intellect and wonderful sense of humor. 

The Adelson family asks for privacy as they mourn Mr. Adelson’s passing. A funeral will be held in Israel, the birthplace of Dr. Miriam Adelson, with plans for a memorial service held in Las Vegas to be announced at a later date.

Adelson primarily made his fortune in the Las Vegas tradeshow and gaming industries.

The casino magnate originally found success in Las Vegas developing and overseeing COMDEX, a prominent personal computer trade show during the 1980s-1990s.

Adelson eventually purchased the Sands Hotel and Resort in 1988, and began construction on the Sands Expo and Convention Center the following year. 

Following a honeymoon trip to Venice with his second wife Meriam during the 1990s, Adelson came up with the idea for The Venetian―a mega-resort themed after the Italian city featuring an elaborate shopping mall with canals―and opened the lavish property on the former site of the Sands in 1999.

Adelson would continue serving as the chairman and CEO for the Las Vegas Sands Corporation which he founded until his passing, and would eventually create a billion-dollar casino empire that includes properties like The Palazzo, as well as other mega-casinos located in Macau and Singapore.

Adelson was also known as an influential philanthropist and media venture, including his ownership Las Vegas Review-Journal newspaper which he purchased in 2015.

Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman offered her condolences on Twitter Tuesday morning and praised him for helping build the city’s tourism industry. 

Adelson had a net worth close to $35 billion at the time of his death, according to an estimate from Forbes.