Despite the fact that his company, Las Vegas Sands, has been forced to close down in the US and abroad, casino mogul and billionaire philanthropist Sheldon Adelson has remained loyal to his close to 10,000 employees. Adelson’s wealth is estimated at $37.7 billion as of 2019.
Adelson, who is one of the most devoted donors to multiple projects in Israel and has a very special friendship with both Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Naftali Bennett, this week issued the following statement:
Although the resort hotels of my company, Las Vegas Sands, are shuttered, I’m paying every one of our nearly 10,000 employees as though they were still working. We’re even working to make up for lost tips. I hope to do that right up until the time that we can reopen our businesses.
It’s not only the right thing to do — it’s good business.
I’ve often said the story of my career would be a true rags-to-riches account, except for the fact that my parents couldn’t even afford the rags. As the son of hard-working, low-income, immigrant parents, I grew up with the same anxiety people across the nation are feeling right now.
Where is the next meal coming from? How can I pay the rent and electricity bill? Families are desperate to know when they can go back to work.
I recall one of the most important lessons I learned from my father. He would come home from work — when he could find work, that is — and put loose change in the family pushke (charity box). When I asked why he would give to others when we had so little, he would say, “There is always someone whose need is greater than ours.”
According to the Jewish Insider, this week Adelson purchased 2 million much-needed medical masks which he is donating to first responders and medical workers who are in the frontlines against the coronavirus pandemic. Adelson paid to produce the masks in China and will deliver them to hospitals in New York and Nevada.
Sheldon Gary Adelson, 86, was born to a poor family of Jewish immigrants from Ukraine and Lithuania and grew up in the Dorchester neighborhood of Boston. One of his grandfathers was a Welsh coal miner. His father drove a taxi, and his mother ran a knitting shop. Adelson started his business career at 12, when he borrowed $200 from his uncle and purchased a license to sell newspapers in Boston. At age 16 he borrowed $10,000 from his uncle to start a candy vending-machine business. Over the course of his business career, Adelson has created almost 50 of his own businesses.
That’s some uncle.