Saturday, January 28, 2012

Sheldon Adelson

Sheldon Gary Adelson (born August 6, 1933) is an American casino and hotel magnate. Adelson is Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Las Vegas Sands Corp., the parent company of Venetian Macao Limited which operates The Venetian Resort Hotel Casino and the Sands Expo and Convention Center. Adelson vastly increased his net worth upon the initial public offering of Las Vegas Sands in December 2004. He is currently the 8th wealthiest American and 16th wealthiest person in the world, with a net worth of $21.5 billion.

Adelson was born and grew up in the Dorchester neighborhood of Boston, Massachusetts, the son of Ukrainian Jewish immigrants. He worked as a mortgage broker, investment adviser and financial consultant. He started a business selling toiletry kits, and in the 1960s he started a charter tours business. Adelson went to college at the City College of New York, but dropped out.

Originally a Democrat, Adelson became a Republican as his wealth increased. "Why is it fair that I should be paying a higher percentage of taxes than anyone else?" he once asked. He began making major contributions to the Republican National Committee following clashes with labor unions at his Las Vegas properties.

Adelson divorced his first wife Sandra in 1988 and met his current wife Miriam Ochsorn, an Israeli physician, on a blind date the following year. They were married in 1991.

At one point, Adelson's estimated wealth was US$26.5 billion, making him the third richest person in the United States according to Forbes for both 2007 and 2008. In 2008, the share prices of the Las Vegas Sands Corp. plunged. And in November, 2008, Las Vegas Sands Corp. announced that it might default on bonds that it had outstanding, signaling the potential bankruptcy of the concern. Adelson lost $24 billion in 2008, more than any other American billionaire. In Forbes 2009 world billionaires list, his ranking dropped to #178 with a net worth of $3.4 billion, but in 2011 he was ranked as the world's 16th richest man with a fortune amounting to $23.3 billion.

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