Sheldon Adelson, On line casino Mogul and GOP Megadonor, has died on the age of 87

Billionaire Sheldon Adelson at the Palazzo Las Vegas, his newest casino hotel on the Las Vegas Strip, January 8, 2008 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Bob Riha Jr | Stock photos | Getty Images

Sheldon Adelson, the multi-billion dollar casino mogul and Republican Party megadonor, died Monday at the age of 87.

According to a press release from Las Vegas Sands, the casino and resort company he owned, Adelson died of complications related to treating non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

Adelson, whose net worth was estimated at around $ 33 billion by Forbes, was one of the most watched donors to support President Donald Trump’s 2020 re-election efforts. He was also a staunch supporter of Israel and had a close friendship with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

His funeral will take place in Israel and a memorial service in Las Vegas is scheduled for a later date.

“It is with excruciating pain that I announce the death of my husband Sheldon G. Adelson from complications from a long illness,” his wife Miriam Adelson, 75, said in a statement to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

“For me – for his children, grandchildren and his legions of friends and admirers, employees and colleagues – he is absolutely irreplaceable,” said Miriam Adelson.

Casino magnate Sheldon Adelson and his wife Miriam listen as US President Donald Trump speaks prior to the 2019 Republican-Jewish Coalition annual leadership meeting in Las Vegas, Nevada, the United States, on April 6, 2019.

Kevin Lamarque | Reuters

Former President George W. Bush, to whom Adelson had previously donated, called the late entrepreneur “an American patriot, a generous charitable benefactor and a strong supporter of Israel” in a statement.

“Sheldon has been a generous benefactor for charitable causes, particularly medical research and Jewish heritage education. He will be missed by many – no more than his beloved family,” Bush said.

Adelson also gave tens of millions of dollars in 2012 to support the Republican president’s hopes, including Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney.

Adelson grew up in Boston. The son of a taxi driver and a knitting shop owner, he made his first forays into the business world at the age of 12, selling newspapers on street corners.

From the late 1980s, Adelson got into the casino business, buying the Sands Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas for $ 128 million. The purchase would introduce Las Vegas Sands as a global resort brand with real estate in the US and Asia.

The youngest building is the Paris Macau, a luxury hotel with a copy of the Eiffel Tower in Macau, China.

According to its own information, the company employs more than 51,000 people worldwide. It is the only US-based casino company that did not lay off employees during the coronavirus pandemic.

Last week, the Sands board of directors named Rob Goldstein as acting CEO after Adelson announced he was taking leave of absence for seeking medical treatment.

Adelson also owned the Israel Hayom newspaper and the Las Vegas Review-Journal, the only major newspaper in support of Trump’s 2016 presidential bid.

According to the non-partisan Center for Responsive Politics, Adelson and his wife have teamed up to form the top campaign donors in the last two election cycles.

All of their contributions went to Republican candidates, including efforts to endorse Trump.

Between the 2018 and 2020 cycle, the couple gave over $ 340 million on GOP purposes. Late in the 2020 presidential race, the Adelsons donated at least $ 90 million to pro-Trump super-PAC Preserve America.

Though Adelson had at times obvious tensions with Trump, he remained one of the president’s biggest financial backers in the 2020 election. The New York Times reported in August that Trump called Adelson to berate him for not supporting his re-election offer .

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– CNBC’s Contessa Brewer contributed to this report.

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