Who is Sheldon Adelson? His Net Worth, Wife and Children

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Sheldon Adelson is a business magnate and investor who is the founder of the largest casino company in the United States: Las Vegas Sands Corporation. He is also a member of the Republican political party in the US and is popular for donating the largest amount in support of ‘s presidential campaign in 2016.

He was a regular kid from a poor family who no one ever thought would amount to so much but that did not deter him as he strived hard to achieve great heights from the early age of 12. He became a serial entrepreneur and was ranked by Forbes as the 15th most wealthy person in the world.

Who is Sheldon Adelson?

The American billionaire was born Sheldon Gary Adelson in the suburbs of Boston, Dorchester, Massachusetts to Arthur and Sarah Adelson and is of Ukrainian-Jewish descent. His parents were migrants to the U.S; his father worked as a taxi man while his mother was a dressmaker who had a small knitting shop in their neighborhood.

Like many would describe him, Adelson was always an entrepreneur at heart as he began his business pursuits at the early age of 12 when he borrowed over a $100 from his uncle to open a newspaper selling business. At age 16, he bought a vending machine and kicked off another business with that. His only known formal education was at the City College of New York which he attended after his first early business attempts. He later dropped out of college and joined the army. He didn’t stay long with the army as he was discharged soon after. He went back to his entrepreneurial pursuits after his time with the army and began selling toiletries.

By the time he hit his 30s, Sheldon Adelson was already a millionaire and he kept expanding. He operated a condominium business but had a rough time with the business when the real estate sector crumbled in 1970. However, during his time in the condo business, he had the opportunity to attend condo conventions and saw the successes of these conventions. It gave him an idea, a chance to make more money by investing in computer tradeshows and conventions.

Although the computer convention was a rare thing at this time, he envisioned its demand in the near future and was prepared for it. In 1973, he held his first computer tradeshow which recorded moderate success. He didn’t quit on the idea but forged ahead by collaborating with some partners to organize the COMDEX computer convention in 1979 at the MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas. It was a huge success and it went down the history books as the biggest computer tradeshow in the world. Adelson who could be said to have impeccable business acumen was right about his predictions as the computer convention industry exploded and his COMDEX venture recorded extreme success as well as expansions.

Being a serial entrepreneur, he sought out new ventures and ended up procuring and opening the Sands Hotel, Las Vegas for $128 million in 1988. He demolished the old building and built the largest casino in the United States – Venetian Casino. The facility housed other businesses such as restaurants, shopping malls, a full-service spa, among various other retail shops. It became a one-stop integrated resort destination called the Marina Bay Sands.

Sheldon Adelson’s casino spread to other countries and was established in Macau after casinos were legalized in China and later in Singapore. Word on streets is that the American entrepreneur plans to expand his casino to Japan as soon as casino operations are legalized in the country.

Although he is famous for his casino fortunes, he has other side business such as two daily newspapers – one in Israel, Isreal Hayom and the Las Vegas Review-Journal. Sheldon is also a member of the Republican Party and is popular for his donations to the party’s presidential candidates including .


The billionaire is also a philanthropist; he started giving more to charity when he married Mirian Farbstein. Some of his notable charitable works include his $25 million donation to Adelson Educational Campus at Las Vegas to build a high school and his establishment of The Adelson Foundation in 2007 which caters for part of the Israeli and Jewish community.

Net Worth

The billionaire has continued to grow in wealth with his continual business expansions. In 2007, he was estimated to be worth $26.5 billion but he had a financial meltdown in 2009 and lost about 93% of his wealth and came to be worth as low as $2 billion. Shocking right? However, he started all over again and by 2011, he went back to rank among the top 20 richest men in the world with a net worth of $23.5 billion. His worth has grown steadily since after the decline of 2009. In 2018, Sheldon Adelson was said to be worth $32 billion making him the 15th richest man in the world.

Family Life – Wife and Children

Sheldon Adelson is a business mogul and billionaire popular for his casino empire. The magnate has been married twice and has a total of five children. His first wife was Sandra Adelson whom he had three children with named Mitchell, Gary, and Shelley (however, Shelley was adopted). It is not known when they got married, however, they divorced in 1988. Their son, Mitchell is late, he died of cocaine and heroin abuse.

Few years after the divorce, he met Miriam Farbstein, a medical doctor and married her in 1991. She was previously married to a doctor from Tel Aviv, with whom she had two daughters. Farbstein established a substance abuse center and is popular for her philanthropic activities.

Also Read: Top 10 Richest People in the world with full biography and details.