"Our founder and visionary leader, Sheldon G. Adelson, passed away last night at the age of 87 from complications related to treatment for non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma," according to a statement issued today by Las Vegas Sands.
Born to immigrant parents and raised in a poor section of Boston, Mr. Adelson went from a teenager selling newspapers on a street corner to becoming one of the world's most successful entrepreneurs.
In March of 2019, Adelson announced he was receiving treatment for non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. The company stated last week he had resumed his cancer treatment and would be taking a leave of absence as of Thursday from his role as chairman and CEO of both Las Vegas Sands and Sands China Ltd.
The companies' boards of directors named Robert G. Goldstein, currently Las Vegas Sands' President and Chief Operating Officer, as acting Chairman and acting CEO of both organizations while Adelson was on medical leave.
The company issued the following statement:
"Sheldon G. Adelson's achievements in the integrated resort and hospitality industry are well-documented. In Las Vegas, Macao and Singapore, Mr. Adelson's vision for integrated resorts transformed the industry, changed the trajectory of the company he founded, and reimagined tourism in each of those markets. His impact on the industry will be everlasting.
"Mr. Adelson was the first employee of Las Vegas Sands – "Team Member Number One" he liked to say. Today, more than 50,000 Sands team members have Dr. Adelson and the entire Adelson family in their thoughts and prayers and are grateful to have had their lives touched by a true force of nature.
When the pandemic disrupted daily routines and dramatically impacted his business, Mr. Adelson was adamant that our Team Members across the globe continue to receive full pay and health care benefits even while the buildings in which they worked were closed. There are countless additional untold stories of his warmth and generosity – efforts for which he never sought recognition or publicity and would only reply with a smile if asked about them.
While his business credentials – having started or been involved in more than 50 different enterprises - are unquestioned, his dedication to philanthropy and commitment to his family will truly be his legacy. He will be missed by people from all parts of the world who were touched by his generosity, kindness, intellect and wonderful sense of humor.
The Adelson family asks for privacy as they mourn Mr. Adelson's passing. A funeral will be held in Israel, the birthplace of Dr. Miriam Adelson, with plans for a memorial service held in Las Vegas to be announced at a later date."
American Gaming Association (AGA) President Bill Miller said the passing of Sheldon Adelson was a tremendous loss to the gaming community.
"I had the pleasure of knowing Mr. Adelson for more than 15 years, long before joining the American Gaming Association (AGA). It is his leadership and generosity that stand out the most to me. There’s no greater example of this than serving his community and prioritizing his employees’ well-being during the last year as our country and industry grappled with the global pandemic," Miller said.
"On behalf of the AGA, I share our deepest sympathies with Dr. Adelson, the Adelson family, and our gaming colleagues at Las Vegas Sands. May his memory be a blessing," he concluded.