• Sheldon Adelson's net worth at the time of his death was $35 billion
  • He bought the Sands Hotel and Casino in 1988 for $128 million
  • Adelson died at age 87 Monday from complications linked to cancer treatment

Casino billionaire Sheldon Adelson died Monday at age 87 due to complications related to treatments for non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. Here's how he built his fortune.

Adelson's net worth at the time of his passing was $35 billion, according to Forbes. This made him the 28th-richest person in the world and 19th in the Forbes 400.

Adelson’s tale serves as an inspiration to those who dream of a better life. The multi-billionaire’s success did not happen overnight but took years of perseverance, risky investments that paid off, great timing and the resiliency to bounce back from devastating financial losses.

Adelson was born into a family that struggled to make ends meet. The son of a taxi driver and a knitter, he had to drop out of college to provide extra support. He attended a trade school instead and joined the army.

Adelson later became a mortgage broker and learned about investing, according to Celebrity Net Worth. He invested the money he made in several businesses in Boston.

The Dorchester, Boston native delved into condominium development. At the time, when the business was booming, he acquired a company dedicated to publishing computer news. This prompted him and his business partners to put up a trade show for computers called COMDEX, or Computer Dealers' Exhibition, in 1979.

At the time, interest in computers was at its peak, and IBM, Apple and Microsoft all registered rapid growth. Soon, COMDEX would rake in $20 million annually for Adelson. The amount would be equal to $40 million when adjusted to the current inflation rate.

In 1988, Adelson bought the historic Sands hotel and casino in Las Vegas for $128 million. He built a new casino in its place in 1999, the extravagant $1.5 billion Venetian Resort Hotel Casino.

The Las Vegas Sands expanded overseas and now employs around 51,000 people, CNBC reported. It is the only casino in the U.S. that has not laid off employees amid the pandemic. This just shows the financial might the casino business has under the leadership of Adelson.

The former CEO of the world’s largest gaming corporation was a staunch supporter of Republican bets, including Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich. Adelson and his family were among the biggest political donors of the past few elections. He supported Trump in 2016, and for the 2020 election, donated $90 million to super-PAC Preserve America, Politico reported.

The Sands appointed Rob Goldstein as acting CEO after Adelson took medical leave for cancer treatment last week. There is no official announcement yet as to who will take over Adelson’s position in the company.

US President Donald Trump stands on stage with mogul Sheldon Adelson at a Florida event in 2019
US President Donald Trump stands on stage with mogul Sheldon Adelson at a Florida event in 2019 AFP / MANDEL NGAN