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Sheldon Adelson, billionaire Las Vegas casino magnate, dead at 87

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Sheldon Adelson — the billionaire casino magnate and political megadonor who funneled millions of dollars to Republicans — is dead. He was 87.

Adelson died Monday night from complications related to treatment he was receiving for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, according to Las Vegas Sands, the casino giant he led as chairman and CEO.

Adelson had taken medical leave from the company on Thursday to resume treatment for the disease. He first announced his diagnosis in 2019.

“Much has been written and said about how Sheldon, the son of poor immigrants, rose to the pinnacle of business success on the strength of grit and genius, inspiration and integrity,” Adelson’s widow, Miriam Adelson, said in a statement. “His was an all-American story of entrepreneurship.”

Adelson’s casino empire has taken a massive hit from the coronavirus pandemic, which essentially emptied the Las Vegas Strip last year and sparked a gambling shutdown in Asia.

Las Vegas Sands chairman Sheldon Adelson speaks about the construction of The Venetian in 1997.
Las Vegas Sands chairman Sheldon Adelson speaks about the construction of The Venetian in 1997.
Lennox McLendon/AP

In October, Las Vegas Sands said it was considering selling its Vegas properties — the Venetian Resort, the Palazzo and the Sands Expo Center — which would leave it with a half-dozen sites in the larger Asian markets of Macau and Singapore.

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