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Sheldon Adelson remembered as ‘a true American patriot’

Las Vegas Sands Corp. Chairman and CEO Sheldon G. Adelson, who died Monday night, was remembered Tuesday by leaders and others, who recalled his business acumen, his love of country and his philanthropy.

President Donald Trump: “Sheldon lived the true American dream. His ingenuity, genius and creativity earned him immense wealth, but his character and philanthropic generosity (earned him) his great name. Sheldon was also a staunch supporter of our great ally, the state of Israel. He tirelessly advocated for the relocation of the United States Embassy to Jerusalem, the recognition of Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights and the pursuit of peace between Israel and its neighbors. Sheldon was true to his family, his country and all those that knew him. The world has lost a great man. He will be missed.”

Former President George W. Bush: Adelson “battled his way out of a tough Boston neighborhood to build a successful enterprise that loyally employed tens of thousands — and entertained millions. He was an American patriot, a generous benefactor of charitable causes and a strong supporter of Israel. He will be missed by many, none more than his beloved family.”

Benjamin Netanyahu, prime minister of Israel: “Sheldon’s great actions to strengthen Israel’s position in the U.S. and to strengthen ties between Israel and the diaspora will be remembered for generations.

“We will forever remember Sheldon and his great contribution to Israel and the Jewish people.”

Former U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid: “Few people have had such significant an impact on the hotel and gaming industry and on Nevada’s economy as Sheldon Adelson. He came to Las Vegas as a master of the convention business. Adelson became one of Nevada’s giants in gaming, conventions and hospitality. He was instrumental in transforming Las Vegas into the iconic destination it is today.”

Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak: “Sheldon was a man who believed in, succeeded in and invested in bold and daring ideas that changed the state of Nevada.

“For me, in these difficult times, one act stands above all. Despite suffering significant economic losses due to the global pandemic, the shutdowns and limited business due to mitigation protocols, Sheldon made a commitment to keep all of his Las Vegas employees paid and insured. That commitment helped keep thousands of Nevadans afloat during the most difficult of months, and Sheldon’s commitment will never be forgotten.”

Sen. Jacky Rosen: “Sheldon and Miriam’s efforts to combat addiction and substance abuse in the Silver State changed the lives of many. As Jewish leaders, we also shared a deep concern for the rise in anti-Semitism and joined efforts to help combat hate.”

Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto: “Sheldon Adelson’s vision helped transform Las Vegas from a small desert city into a world-class tourism destination. The Silver State’s massive business, entertainment and convention industries are what they are today because of his life’s work and his dedication to building a Las Vegas that can cater to everyone from entrepreneurs to international travelers.”

U.S. Rep. Susie Lee: “I’m saddened to hear of Sheldon Adelson’s passing. He was a gaming giant who helped shape modern Las Vegas and employed thousands of Las Vegas families for decades. Most of all, I appreciate his and his family’s invaluable investments in our community, from opening clinics to help those struggling with opioid abuse to founding the Adelson Educational Campus, a vibrant school that’s now a cornerstone of the Las Vegas Jewish community. His legacy will most certainly live on in every corner of Southern Nevada.”

U.S. Rep. Steven Horsford: “Sheldon Adelson left an undeniable mark on Las Vegas. Through his vast philanthropic efforts, he created new educational opportunities for Southern Nevada’s children and helped thousands of teens and adults struggling with opioid addiction overcome their illness. His legacy will live on through the Adelson Educational Campus and the Adelson Clinic, and Nevadans will continue to benefit from his generosity.”

U.S. Rep. Dina Titus: “Sheldon Adelson helped make Las Vegas a top international travel destination. He played a key role in making our city a premier sports town. I hope the Adelson family will carry on his philanthropic legacy, and I am thinking of them in their time of grief.”

Marilyn Kirkpatrick, Clark County Commission chair: “We are thankful for so many of the wonderful contributions he has made to our community. He was committed to our veterans and Nellis families across the valley and to fighting opioid addiction, assisted his team members with building numerous community gardens and has long been a pillar of Nevada’s Jewish community.”

Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman: “Beyond the public image and a Horatio Alger rise, Sheldon Adelson took Las Vegas to a new level of limitless tourism and convention success by bringing Comdex (CES) into reality and building a five star hotel-casino empire. Little-known but of enormous impact in our city was his enormous philanthropy and generosity. Mr. Adelson was a caring and religious man who quietly made lives much stronger and meaningful.”

Nevada Senate Majority Leader Nicole Cannizzaro: “Sheldon Adelson built one of the world’s most recognizable gaming brands, and his impact has been felt across Las Vegas and around the world. It was heartening to many Nevada families that when the COVID crisis closed our resorts and casinos, he continued payroll and benefits for thousands of employees in the face of difficult economic circumstances. He and Dr. Adelson’s personal generosity led to the founding of the Adelson Clinic, which has helped many Nevadans through the difficult road to recovery from substance abuse over the last 20 years.”

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell: “Our nation lost a remarkable American with the passing of my friend Sheldon Adelson. Sheldon built an incredible life and career. He climbed from sleeping on tenement floors during the Great Depression as a young boy to literally towering over Las Vegas and beyond. He created countless jobs in the process. And he poured his success into philanthropy — from drug abuse treatment to research into cancer and other diseases to the countless Jewish causes around the world that were especially close to his heart.”

Nevada Attorney General Aaron Ford: “Sheldon Adelson is a man who has served our community in many ways: He was a pioneer in the casino and convention industry, a skilled businessman and a philanthropist who funded a school, medical research and countless other causes.

“Through his deeds, Mr. Adelson has left a lasting mark on our community, and our Nevada family is grateful for his contributions.”

Former Sen. Norm Coleman, national chairman of the Republican Jewish Coalition, and Matt Brooks, executive director of the coalition: “We have lost one of the most consequential figures in American Jewish history: an American patriot, a dedicated defender of Israel, an extraordinary philanthropist and a dear mentor and friend.

“His death leaves an empty place where a vibrant, committed and caring man once stood.”

Michael McDonald, chairman of the Nevada Republican Party: “Mr. Adelson was a brilliant businessman, a dedicated philanthropist, a patriot and a great Nevadan. His generosity and kindness was impressive and much appreciated by those that he helped. His life story and legacy are truly that of the American dream, and he will be sorely missed in our community.”

Bill Miller, president and CEO of the American Gaming Association: “Today’s passing of Sheldon Adelson is a tremendous loss to the gaming community. Mr. Adelson, founder and chairman of Las Vegas Sands, was a true visionary and pioneer of modern casino gaming for more than three decades. From Las Vegas and Pennsylvania to Macao and Singapore, his mark is indelible.”

John T. Moran Jr., chairman of the Nevada Gaming Commission: “As a young attorney, I remember watching Sheldon as he built his incredible empire in Las Vegas. He was a visionary and became one of the solid and important foundational blocks of the gaming industry. He always took care of his employees and recognized they were the important backbone of his gaming business.”

Steve Hill, president and CEO of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority: “Sheldon was a visionary entrepreneur and played a pivotal role, as both a customer and then as a resort developer, in establishing Las Vegas as the pre-eminent convention and meeting destination in the world. He also saw the promise of what a premier stadium would mean to this city and was the driving force behind that project. On behalf of the LVCVA, I wish to express my deepest sympathies to Dr. Adelson, their children and grandchildren and to the entire Las Vegas Sands family.”

Virginia Valentine, president of the Nevada Resort Association: “We are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Mr. Sheldon Adelson, an industry icon, dedicated philanthropist and extraordinary entrepreneur who shaped Las Vegas into the No. 1 trade show and convention destination it is today.”

Derek Stevens, owner of three downtown Las Vegas hotel-casinos: “This is a sad day for Las Vegas. Mr. Adelson brought so much innovation and capital to Las Vegas. He personally kept LVS afloat after 9/11 and created so many jobs in our valley. His leadership will be missed.”

Gary Shapiro, president and CEO of the Consumer Technology Association: “I’m sad to hear the news of Sheldon Adelson’s passing, and we at CTA send our condolences to his family. We have lost a legend.”

Bill Hornbuckle, CEO of MGM Resorts International: “Sheldon Adelson helped shape the modern era of gaming and hospitality in Las Vegas, Asia and around the world. His vision and innovations defined what was possible and helped make Las Vegas, Macao and other cities the iconic destinations they are today. A philanthropic giant, his deep generosity and innumerable contributions had a tremendous impact in Las Vegas and around the world.”

Mary Beth Sewald, president and CEO of the Vegas Chamber: “No one shaped modern day Las Vegas more than Sheldon Adelson. From transforming the convention industry and creating two of Las Vegas’ most iconic resorts to becoming an international leader in sustainability practices and supporter of the men and women who have served our country in the military, he leaves a legacy that few, if any, will ever match.”

Jan Jones Blackhurst, Caesars Entertainment Inc. board member and Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority board member: “Sheldon was truly a giant among men. He had vision, strength, determination and was a driving force behind making the city of Las Vegas one of the most vibrant convention and hospitality destinations in the world. All of us in the gaming industry owe a debt of gratitude to Sheldon for seeing, believing and helping to build our community. His leadership and generosity will be greatly missed.”

Jim Murren, former chairman and CEO of MGM Resorts International: “Sheldon Adelson was an iconic fixture in Las Vegas. He came from humble beginnings, forcefully working his way to become one of America’s most successful businessmen. Sheldon was complicated, a study in contrasts. He was tough and pugnacious yet conversely he could be kind and philanthropic. His imprint on Las Vegas, Macao and Singapore will be eternal, and his legacy assured as one of the hospitality industry’s pioneers.”

Keith Smith, president and CEO of Boyd Gaming Corp.: “Sheldon Adelson was a tremendously successful business leader, and the impact he had on our city and our industry will be felt for a long time to come. More important, however, was Sheldon’s lifelong commitment to giving back to others and the powerful example he set with his philanthropy.”

Marilyn Spiegel, president of Wynn Las Vegas and Encore and vice chair of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, who opened Tuesday’s board meeting with a moment of silence to honor Adelson: “Sheldon was a visionary entrepreneur who came to our city in the late ’80s with an idea of what could be and had the fortitude to build it. I think we can all agree that our city and our state is such a better place because of Sheldon Adelson.”

Tom Reeg, CEO of Caesars Entertainment Inc.: “Sheldon Adelson was a visionary who undeniably shaped our industry. From championing the nascent convention business, which has become one of the pillars of Las Vegas as we know it today, to being the first to develop resort-style gaming in Macao, the impact of Adelson’s entrepreneurial vision and ambition is indelible. It may have been matched only by his commitment to his family and community.”

Gary Carano, executive chairman of Caesars’ board of directors: “There are but few men like Sheldon Adelson in this world. Few have the tenacity and the opportunity to shape industries and communities. Sheldon had those in spades. A Las Vegas visionary, an international business magnate and a passionate philanthropist, Sheldon leaves a legacy of determination, acuity and generosity. His impact in Nevada and around the world will reverberate for years to come.”

Frank Fertitta III and Lorenzo Fertitta, CEO and vice chairman of Red Rock Resorts Inc., respectively:“Through his entrepreneurial spirit and vision, Sheldon helped inspire and transform Las Vegas into the world-class destination it is today. Sheldon was and will always be a legend in the gaming industry. Not only did he build incredible resorts for the enjoyment of his guests, he unequivocally set the bar when it came to taking care of his team members. He recognized that a property is only as good as its team.”

Steve Wynn, former chairman and CEO and co-founder of Wynn Resorts Ltd.: “Sheldon Adelson’s incredible success as a businessman is well-known and unique, but his generosity to people in need, his philanthropy and his commitment to the welfare of his employees is evidence of character and humanity that brings credit to the industry in which he prospered. Especially for his humanity, I was proud to be his friend and to accord him my utmost respect. He will be missed and impossible to replace.”

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