Casino icon, GOP donor Sheldon Adelson dies

American casino mogul Sheldon Adelson, who built lavish gambling palaces that made him one of the world’s richest men and became a potent supporter of U.S. President Donald Trump, died Monday night .

Born to a poor Jewish family and a college dropout, Adelson founded and sat atop Las Vegas Sands, the largest casino company in the world, with operations stretching from Las Vegas to Macao to Singapore.

With a net worth of nearly $34 billion according to Bloomberg, Adelson was a major donor to the Republican party and an unapologetic backer of President Donald Trump.

He and his Israeli-born physician wife Miriam spent $20 million on Trump's 2016 campaign and threw in another $5 million for the inauguration- which they attended.

In the 2020 election cycle, they donated more than $218 million to Republican and conservative causes, which was more than any individuals, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

Adelson, a fervent supporter during Trump's tumultuous presidency, was overjoyed when Trump broke with decades of American policy and moved the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. A staunch defender of Israel, Adelson went to the embassy dedication in 2018.

A philanthropic giant to the Jewish nation, he was also close to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who had this to say:

"I've heard, together with my wife Sara, in deep sorrow, about the passing of a wonderful friend and a wonderful person, Sheldon Adelson, who passed away. We send, on behalf of ourselves and many many others in Israel and around the world, our heartfelt condolences. It's hard to describe what Sheldon did for the Jewish people and the State of Israel."

Detractors described Adelson - who engaged in a court battle with his own sons, feuds with former associates and lawsuits against journalists - as vengeful and mean.

He once told Forbes Magazine: "I’m against very wealthy people attempting to or influencing elections. But as long as it’s doable, I’m going to do it.”

He succumbed to complications related to non-Hodgkins lymphoma, his company announced on Tuesday.

Adelson, the last of the world's old-school gambling icons, dead at age 87.

Video Transcript

SHELDON ADELSON: We--

- American casino mogul Sheldon Adelson, who built lavish gambling palaces that made him one of the world's richest men and became a potent supporter of US President Donald Trump, died Monday night. Born to a poor Jewish family and a college dropout, Adelson founded and sat atop Las Vegas Sands, the largest casino company in the world, with operations stretching from Las Vegas to Macau to Singapore.

With a net worth of nearly $34 billion according to Bloomberg, Adelson was a major donor to the Republican Party and an unapologetic backer of President Donald Trump. He and his Israeli-born physician wife, Miriam, spent $20 million on Trump's 2016 campaign and threw in another $5 million for the inauguration, which they attended. In the 2020 election cycle, they donated more than $218 million to Republican and conservative causes, which was more than other individuals, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

Adelson, a fervent supporter during Trump's tumultuous presidency, was overjoyed when Trump broke with decades of American policy and moved the US embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. A staunch defender of Israel, Adelson went to the embassy dedication in 2018.

A philanthropic giant to the Jewish nation, he was also close to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who had this to say--

BENJAMIN NETANYAHU: [NON-ENGLISH SPEECH]

INTERPRETER: I've heard, together with my wife, Sara, in deep sorrow, about the passing of a wonderful friend and a wonderful person, Sheldon Adelson, who passed away. We send, on behalf of ourselves and many, many others in Israel and around the world, our heartfelt condolences. It's hard to describe what Sheldon did for the Jewish people and the state of Israel.

- Detractors described Adelson, who engaged in a court battle with his own sons, feuds with former associates, and lawsuits against journalists, as vengeful and mean. He once told "Forbes" magazine, "I'm against very wealthy people attempting to or influencing elections. But as long as it's doable, I'm going to do it."

He succumbed to complications related to non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, his company announced on Tuesday-- Adelson, the last of the world's old-school gambling icons, dead at age 87.