Billionaire Republican Donor Sheldon Adelson Dies in Malibu at 87

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Sheldon Adelson

Sheldon Adelson, the casino and resort magnate known for donating massive amounts of money to Israel and toward right-wing causes, died Monday, Jan. 11, in Malibu due to complications from non-Hodgkins’ lymphoma. 

Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma is a type of blood cancer; Adelson had been receiving treatment for it since early 2019, according to the Associated Press.

According to real estate site Dirt, Adelson owned multiple properties in the Malibu Colony.

Adlson was CEO of the company Las Vegas Sands. Underneath its umbrella lies “the world’s largest empire of casinos and resort hotels,” the New York Times wrote, with locations from Las Vegas to Macau to Singapore. 

Adelson grew up “a street urchin” in Depression-era Boston, according to the NYT. But by the end of his life, he had become the world’s eighth- or ninth-wealthiest person, according to Forbes and Bloomberg estimates. 

His vast wealth afforded him weighty political influence. He was the largest single donor in the 2012 elections and was the Trump campaign’s largest single donor in 2016, according to the NYT. He was also “a staunch Zionist” and donated to many philanthropies in Israel.

He is survived by his wife, children, two stepdaughters and 11 grandchildren.