Billionaire GOP and Israel donor Sheldon Adelson dead at 87

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In 2007, three years after gaining a foothold in Macau with a $ 265 million casino, Mr. Adelson opened his next big project: the Venetian Macao, a 39-story, $ 2.4 billion hotel and casino – the seventh tallest building in the world, with a game paradise almost as large as 10 soccer fields. Fanatical gamers from Asia flocked and Mr. Adelson multiplied his wealth on several occasions.

He built other casino hotels in Macau, Singapore and Pennsylvania, and added the Las Vegas Palazzo. In 2013, he abandoned plans for a $ 30 billion complex near Madrid after failing to win concessions from Spain. But he planned casinos in Japan, an untapped gaming mega-market, and, with billions at stake, lobbied against online gambling.

His business has been the subject of prosecutions, investigations and accusations of bribery by Chinese and US officials and tolerance of prostitutes and the Mafia. Mr. Adelson denied the allegations and was not personally involved. Her company has also not been found guilty of serious wrongdoing, despite paying a fine of $ 47 million in 2013 to avoid criminal charges in a money laundering investigation.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee once issued a “heartfelt” apology after implying that it had profited from prostitution.

Sheldon Gary Adelson was born in Boston on August 4, 1933, one of four children of Arthur and Sarah (Tonkin) Adelson. His father was descended from Ukrainian and Lithuanian Jewish ancestors; his mother had immigrated from England and one of the boy’s ancestors was a Welsh coal miner. In the family’s two-room apartment in Boston’s Dorchester neighborhood, parents slept on a mattress and children on the floor. Sheldon, a go-getter, sold newspapers and, at age 16, had candy vending machines in factories and gas stations.

He fought anti-Semitism and tough guys on the streets and at Roxbury Memorial High School. “We had to go to school with at least four children,” he told Forbes in 2012. “The Irish children came out of the bushes and buildings with pipes and rubber chains and punches. Americans.

Mr. Adelson attended New York City College in the 1950s, but dropped out after less than two years and joined the military. He went on to sell toiletries, magazine ads and windshield defrosters; negotiated mortgages, developed condominiums and booked charter tours. After his success at the show, he bought the Sands Hotel and Casino for $ 128 million.

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