Casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, a cab driver’s son who grew up in Dorchester and later a became a very generous booster of conservative politicians and the nation of Israel, died Monday night at the age of 87 due to complications from non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, according to a statement from Las Vegas Sands, the company he founded.
Adelson made his fortune — a net worth of around $35 billion, according to an estimate by Forbes — in the casino hotel industry. He spent a lot of it influencing what happened politically, socially, and culturally around the world.
In a court filing 12 years ago. Mr. Adelson talked a bit about his youth in Dorchester, where he sold newspapers on the street as a youth and attended Roxbury Memorial High School. “When I was 12, I bought my first business,” he said, “You know, you hold the newspaper in your hand and say, ‘Hey, get your Daily Record.’ We would yell that out. We would hawk newspapers,” he said.
While still in his teens, he got into the vending machine business where he earned enough money to start up a tour business, move into investing, trade shows, and, finally, casinos, the engines of his fortune.