Sheldon Aldeson

DEFINITION of 'Sheldon Aldeson'

Sheldon Aldeson, chairman and CEO of Las Vegas Sands Corp., is one of the world’s wealthiest persons according to Forbes, with an estimated net worth of $37.9 billion in 2014. Born in 1933 in Boston, his parents were immigrants who worked blue-collar jobs. He grew up in a one-bedroom apartment in Boston during the depression era. His first job was selling newspapers, and his first business was selling toiletries.

BREAKING DOWN 'Sheldon Aldeson'

Aldeson enrolled at City College in New York and studied corporate finance, but dropped out before earning a degree. He began to amass his wealth working on Wall Street in mortgage banking and investment advising. He also worked in the travel industry as an investor in the American International Travel Service, then became a real estate broker.

He founded computer trade show Comdex in 1979, which he sold in 1995, and the money he made from it allowed him to start investing in casinos. He purchased the Las Vegas Sands casino in 1988 with his business partners at a bargain price of $128 million, then went solo and demolished it in 1996 to replace it with the Venetian Resort Hotel Casino and the Sands Expo and Convention Center, which opened in 1999. In 2004, he took his company public.

Aldeson opened the Marina Bay Sands hotel and casino in Singapore in 2005, which is known for its SkyPark that sits atop three skyscrapers and contains an infinity pool, restaurants, bars and an observation deck. In recent years, most of his casino revenue has come from the Chinese island of Macau. The Chinese began allowing him to do business there in 2003 and he opened the Sands Macau in 2010.

This self-made multibillionaire has donated millions to charity. He has also been a major political supporter of Republican candidates including George W. Bush, Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney.

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