Billionaire mogul and conservative political power broker Sheldon Adelson has died after a long battle with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. He was 87 years old.
Adelson, who built his financial empire in the casino world from Las Vegas to China, used his money to support Israel and conservative or Republican causes in the US.
He rose from living in a Boston tenement as the son of Jewish immigrants to become one of the richest men in the world. In 2018, Forbes ranked him No. 15 in the US, worth an estimated $35.5 billion.
Adelson was considered the nation’s most influential GOP donor in the final years of his life, at times setting records for individual election contributions.
He fought to ensure that the GOP platform included staunch support for Israel, and strongly stood with the Trump administration on the idea of relocating the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem in 2018.
Adelson also reportedly purchased the US ambassador’s official residence near Tel Aviv for $67 million in a move that could help prevent the US embassy from being relocated back to Tel Aviv after Trump leaves office.
He also donated a record-breaking $25 million to Israel’s Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial, established a think tank in Jerusalem, and was a strong supporter of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
President Trump issued the following statement on Adelson's death:
Melania and I mourn the passing of Sheldon Adelson, and send our heartfelt condolences to his wife Miriam, his children and grandchildren. Sheldon lived the true American dream. His ingenuity, genius, and creativity earned him immense wealth, but his character and philanthropic generosity his great name. Sheldon was also a staunch supporter of our great ally the State of Israel. He tirelessly advocated for the relocation of the United States embassy to Jerusalem, the recognition of Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights, and the pursuit of peace between Israel and its neighbors. Sheldon was true to his family, his country, and all those that knew him. The world has lost a great man. He will be missed.