Economy & Business

Sheldon Adelson, Longtime GOP Donor, Dies at 87

Sheldon Adelson sits onstage before a speech at the Israeli American Council National Summit in Hollywood, Fla., December 7, 2019. (Loren Elliott/Reuters)

Sheldon Adelson, a longtime Republican donor and CEO of Las Vegas Sands resorts, died on Monday evening at age 87.

Adelson passed away due to complications from treatment for non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, Las Vegas Sands said in a press release.

“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,” the company said. “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.”

Adelson and his wife Miriam contributed over $172.2 million to Republican PAC’s during the 2020 election cycle, and were major donors throughout the past decade. After the coronavirus pandemic closed resorts and casinos across the U.S., Adelson ordered that Las Vegas Sands continue to pay its workers and refused to furlough staff during the crisis. Adelson also contributed heavily to pro-Israel causes, and was a major backer of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

“Sheldon Adelson’s life represents the best of the American dream,” U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement. “From his service to his country in the U.S. Army, to his entrepreneurial spirit, to his efforts to strengthen the alliance between Israel and the United States, Sheldon’s life was one of great consequence.”

Correction: This article initially stated that Adleson’s 2020 campaign contributions totaled $172.2 billion, while the correct amount is $172.2 million. We regret the error.

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Zachary Evans is a news writer for National Review Online. He is also a violist, and has served in the Israeli Defense Forces.


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