Sheldon Adelson, the gambling mogul who went from the streets to the fortune

Sheldon Adelson, American and Israeli right-wing gambling mogul and banker, died in Malibu, California, from cancer on Tuesday, January 12. He was 87 years old.

In a lifetime, Sheldon Adelson rose from the streets to fortune, influence and honors. He was born on August 4, 1933, at the height of the Great Depression, into a Jewish family living in a working-class neighborhood of Boston. Her father worked as a taxi driver while her mother ran a knitting workshop. The couple and their four children live in two rooms and are content with one mattress.

At 12, he got his start in business selling newspapers and then sweets at gas stations. There he learns the laws of the street which maintain his roughness and his appetite for success. This learning is hardly completed by an eclipsing schooling.

Adventurous experiences

After a period under the flag, Sheldon Adelson pursues his American dream by multiplying adventurous experiences, from the sale of toiletries in hotels to that of a windshield defrosting process, including travel. Success is sometimes there, but it is also regularly replaced by the harassment of creditors.

The self-made man had to wait until 1979 to win his first major bet: the success in Las Vegas of a show devoted to a new technology, computers. This opens up a new horizon for him. In 1988, he bought an aging hotel with a casino, Sands, which he razed to add a convention center.

Then at an age when others are thinking of retirement, in 1999 he embarked on the industry which would make him billions of dollars: gambling. He increased the number of acquisitions or the creation of casinos, in the United States and in Asia. , from Macao to Singapore, his second most daring bet. His honeymoon in Italy with his second wife, Miriam, an Israeli doctor, inspired him to the point of giving a Venetian luster to the complexes whose success he orchestrates. “It’s not like Venice, it’s better than Venice! “, he exclaims in the press.

Read also Sheldon G. Adelson, king of casinos, dreams of a mini-Vegas in Europe

In 1988, he traveled to Israel for the first time in his life, wearing the shoes of his father whose roots stretched back to Lithuania and Ukraine, and who could not afford the expensive trip. His remarriage maintains his Zionist convictions, and his fortune offers a lever to his right-wing vision that leaves no room for any Palestine or for an already laborious peace process.

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