American billionaire and generous donor to the Republican Party Sheldon Adelson has passed away at the age of 87, Las Vegas Sands casinos announced Tuesday.
The giant company said in a statement that “Sheldon J. Adelson died last night at the age of 87 due to complications associated with the treatment of non-Hodgkin lymphoma,” a group of blood cancers that include any type of lymphoma except for Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
After humble beginnings in Boston, Adelson, a generous supporter of outgoing US President Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, has risen to one of the world’s richest men thanks to a sprawling chain of casinos between Las Vegas and Macau.
Forbes magazine estimated his net worth at $ 35 billion as of Tuesday, a fortune he has often used to influence US politics.
Adelson was vehemently opposed to former Democratic President Barack Obama and was a major donor to his successor Trump, giving nearly $ 220 million to the wealthy real estate mogul and his fellow Republicans in Congress during the 2020 election cycle.
Mike Pence, US Vice President Donald Trump, mourned Adelson in a statement on Twitter in which he said that the United States had lost a man who “profoundly believed in America and in the importance of the historic alliance between it and the Jewish state of Israel.”
Pence referred to Adelson’s role in supporting the Trump administration in defending “the historic steps it has taken to move the US embassy to Jerusalem.”
Statement from Vice President Pence on the Passing of Sheldon Adelson pic.twitter.com/fbu7pQA9z3
— Mike Pence (@Mike_Pence) January 12, 2021
Former Republican President George W. Bush described Adelson as “an American patriot, a generous philanthropist and a strong supporter of Israel.”
“Sheldon made his way out of one of Boston’s tough neighborhoods to build a successful business that has faithfully employed tens of thousands and provided entertainment to millions,” Bush said.
In turn, Netanyahu said in a statement that Adelson was “an amazing hero of the Jewish people, the Jewish state and the alliance between Israel and America.”
Sara and I are heartbroken by the passing of Sheldon Adelson.
He was a wonderful friend to us personally and an incredible champion of the Jewish people, the Jewish state and the alliance between Israel and America.
— Benjamin Netanyahu (@netanyahu) January 12, 2021
In an interview with Forbes magazine in 2012, Adelson did not express any regret for his political activity, asserting that he was “against the influence of the rich in the elections or their pursuit of it, but as long as it is possible I practice it.”
He referred to donations made by liberal financiers such as George Soros, considering that his donations created a balance in this regard, stressing that he is “proud” of what he is doing.