Miriam Adelson is the majority shareholder of Las Vegas Sands, the world’s largest casino operator. The Las Vegas-based business controls casino resorts and convention centers in the US and Asia and had revenue of $4.1 billion in 2022. Her late husband Sheldon, who died in January 2021, was founder and chairman of the group.
Adelson is the widow of Sheldon Adelson, the founder and chairman of casino group, Las Vegas Sands, who died in January 2021 at the age of 87. Her biggest asset is a 56.7% stake in the publicly traded company, which she owns directly and through various trusts and custodial accounts according to the 2023 proxy filing. This analysis assigns her full control of the Adelson family’s shared interest in the company’s shares following the death of her husband.
The pair have collected more than $9.6 billion in Sands dividends, based on an analysis of Bloomberg data as of June 2023, and sold shares valued at about $3 billion in 2005 and 2006. Two years later, they gave $1 billion to the company in two installments to help stave off bankruptcy during the financial crisis. They received warrants and 5.25 million preferred shares in exchange. Las Vegas Sands bought the preferred shares for $577.5 million in November 2011.
The value of the Adelson family’s cash investments is based on an analysis of these transactions, taxes, market performance, political and charitable giving, and include the value of personal real estate.
Education: Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Miriam Ochshorn Adelson was born Miriam Farbstein in 1945 in Tel Aviv in then-British Mandate Palestine. Her parents were Polish refugees who’d fled persecution. Many of her relatives, including her grandparents, died in the Holocaust.
She studied microbiology and genetics at Hebrew University before going on to earn a medical degree from Tel Aviv University’s Sackler Medical School. She served as a medical research officer in the Israeli army where she became interested in drug dependency and the biology of chemical addiction. In 1986 Israel’s Ministry of Health sent her to New York to study at Rockefeller University under a prominent researcher on addiction treatment. Two years after her arrival in the US she was set up on a blind date with a Boston-born entrepreneur named Sheldon Adelson. They married in Jerusalem in 1991.
Adelson is a prominent supporter of drug addiction research and founded two clinics, one in Israel and one in the US, dedicated to fighting substance abuse. A prominent Zionist, she’s been an active donor alongside her late husband to Republican causes and candidates. She was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Trump in 2018 for her philanthropy and scientific research.
- 1945 Miriam Farbstein is born in Tel Aviv in then-British Mandate Palestine.
- 1988 Is set up by friend on a blind date with Sheldon Adelson.
- 1989 Husband buys the Sands Hotel on the Las Vegas Strip.
- 1993 Opens a drug-abuse clinic in Tel Aviv.
- 2007 Las Vegas Sands debuts Venetian Macau, one of the largest buildings on Earth.
- 2010 Adelson unveils the Marina Bay Sands casino in Singapore.
- 2021 Husband Sheldon dies at age 87 from non-Hodgkin lymphoma.