Miriam Adelson

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Miriam Adelson
Adelson in October 2023
Miriam Farbstein

(1945-10-10) 10 October 1945 (age 78)
  • American
  • Israeli
EducationHebrew University of Jerusalem (BS)
Tel Aviv University (MD)
Ariel Ochshorn
(div. 1980)
(m. 1991; died 2021)
Awards Presidential Medal of Freedom (2018), Smithsonian Institution's Woodrow Wilson Award for Corporate Citizenship (2008), Doctor Honoris Causa by Tel Aviv University (2007)

Miriam Adelson (née Farbstein; born 10 October 1945) is an American and Israeli physician, philanthropist and political donor. She was married to Sheldon Adelson from 1991 until his death in 2021. After his death, she became the owner of the Las Vegas Sands and is estimated to be the fifth richest woman in America, with a net worth of $32.8 billion, as of November 2023.[2] She is the richest Israeli in the world, and the 42nd richest person in the world according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, while Forbes places her as the 44th.[3][4][5]

She is the current publisher of the newspaper Israel Hayom and in the process of purchasing a majority stake in the Dallas Mavericks.

Miriam and Sheldon Adelson were philanthropists, primarily through the Adelson Foundation, and political megadonors to the Republican Party. She was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by Donald Trump in 2018. Adelson and her husband were significant donors for both Trump campaigns, his presidential inauguration, and his defense fund against the Mueller investigation into Russian interference.[6][7][8][9][10][11]

Early life and medical career[edit]

Adelson was born Miriam Farbstein in Tel Aviv, Mandatory Palestine in 1945[1] to parents who fled Poland before the Holocaust. Her father was a prominent member of Mapam, a left-wing political party in Israel. In the 1950s, her family settled in Haifa,[12] where Adelson's father owned and operated several movie theaters.[13]

She attended the Hebrew Reali School for 12 years.[14] She served mandatory army service as a medical officer at Ness Ziona. After earning a Bachelor of Science in Microbiology and Genetics from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem,[15] she earned a medical degree graduating magna cum laude from Tel Aviv University Faculty of Medicine.[16]

She became a physician and eventually the chief internist in an emergency room at Tel Aviv's Rokach (Hadassah) Hospital.[15] After divorcing her first husband, she went to Rockefeller University in 1986 as an associate physician specializing in drug addiction. She was mentored there by and subsequently collaborated for two decades with Mary Jeanne Kreek, who was known for the development of methadone therapy for heroin addiction.[15]

In 1993, she founded a substance abuse center and research clinic. She and her husband opened the Dr. Miriam and Sheldon G. Adelson Research Clinic in Las Vegas seven years later.[17] She has published numerous scientific papers on the topic of drug addiction during her career and is a guest investigator at Rockefeller University.[16]


Donald Trump presents the Medal of Freedom to Adelson

The Adelson family became philanthropists, primarily through the Adelson Foundation, and political megadonors. The couple was presented with the Woodrow Wilson Award for Corporate Citizenship by the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars of the Smithsonian Institution in 2008.[18]

In 2013, she received honorary citizenship of Jerusalem.[19] Adelson served as one of the finance vice-chairs for the inauguration of Donald Trump.[20] She was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by Donald Trump in 2018.[21]

Business ventures[edit]

In 2018, Adelson was named the publisher of Israel Hayom, the most widely read newspaper in Israel,[22] a position she still holds.[17] She is also a voting member on the board of trustees at the University of Southern California.[23] After Sheldon Adelson died in 2021, she became the owner of casino company Las Vegas Sands, which he had founded. She is currently the majority owner of Las Vegas Sands, which she runs along with her family.[24]

Adelson is currently in the process of becoming majority owner of the Dallas Mavericks, after an agreement to buy a majority stake in the team at a $3.5 billion valuation from Mark Cuban, who would retain an ownership stake, operational control, and day-to-day management of the organization.[24]

Political views and activity[edit]

With her husband and Donald Trump

Adelson is a prolific donor in American politics, mostly to causes affiliated with the Republican Party. She was the top female donor in the 2012 United States elections, contributing as much as the next 15 female donors combined. According to Politico, she reportedly donated $46 million in the 2012 elections.[12]

After 2016, she was known for her support for Donald Trump.[25] She and her husband were the largest donors of Trump throughout his presidency; they provided the largest donation to his 2016 campaign, his presidential inauguration, his defense fund against the Mueller investigation into Russian interference and the 2020 campaign.[6][7][8][9][10][11]

She has written that Trump "should enjoy sweeping support" among U.S. Jews and Israelis, and that Trump deserves a "Book of Trump" in the Bible due to his support for Israel.[26][27][25] She pushed for the pardon of Aviem Sella who spied against America.[28] Adelson wrote that Trump represents "kinship, friendship, courage, the triumph of truth" and that "Israelis and proud Jews owe Donald Trump our gratitude."[29]

Adelson has stated the "top issue in the Jewish community is the survival of the Jewish people." Rabbi Shmuley Boteach described her as "arguably the proudest Jew I have met."[12] A strong supporter of Israel, she has said that her heart is in that country and that she got "stuck" in America after meeting her husband.[17] She is credited with influencing Sheldon's political views on Israel, who was "inspired by [her] Zionism, and from there began a public and philanthropic campaign unique in our generation".[30] Adelson is a financial supporter of the Zionist Organization of America, the Yad Vashem Holocaust museum and memorial in Jerusalem, and various U.S. groups that fundraise for the Israeli military.[31]

In response to the October 7th, 2023 Hamas-led attack on Israel, Adelson published an Op-Ed in Forbes Israel, entitled "Dead to Us". Referring to wave of Pro-Palestinian protests occurring across various western cities and countries, Adelson stated that "Those ghastly gatherings of radical Muslim and Black Lives Matter activists, ultra-progressives and career agitators were nothing short of street parties. These people are not our critics. They are our enemies, the ideological enablers in the West of those who would go to any length to eradicate us from the Middle East. And, as such, they should be dead to us".[32]

Personal life[edit]

She married Ariel Ochshorn, also a physician, with whom she had two children.[17][33][34] While at Rockefeller University, she met Sheldon Adelson, whom she married in 1991.[33]

Awards and recognition[edit]


  1. ^ a b Binkley, Christina (7 January 2019). "Meet Dr Miriam Adelson: the record-breaking Republican donor driving Trump's Israel policy". The Guardian. Retrieved 12 January 2021.
  2. ^ Denham, Jemima. "America's Richest Women 2023". Forbes.
  3. ^ "30 Israelis make Forbes 2022 billionaires list, led by Miriam Adelson | The Times of Israel".
  4. ^ "Bloomberg Billionaires Index". 29 November 2023 – via www.bloomberg.com.
  5. ^ "Miriam Adelson & family". Forbes.
  6. ^ a b Reints, Renae (1 February 2019). "GOP Megadonors Give $500,000 to Legal Fund for Trump Aides Caught Up In Russia Probe". Fortune. Retrieved 13 January 2021.
  7. ^ a b Stone, Peter (23 September 2016). "Sheldon Adelson to give $25m boost to Trump Super Pac". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 24 September 2016.
  8. ^ a b Yilek, Caitlin. "GOP mega-donor Sheldon Adelson 'furious' over Rex Tillerson comments: Report". The Washington Examiner. Archived from the original on 23 May 2017. Retrieved 31 October 2017.
  9. ^ a b "Adelsons Become Trump's Biggest Donors With $75 Million to PAC". Bloomberg. Retrieved 10 January 2021.
  10. ^ a b "Sheldon Adelson is plotting a spending spree to help Trump with under 50 days left until the election". CNBC. Retrieved 10 January 2021.
  11. ^ a b "Sheldon Adelson to donate $100m to Trump and Republicans, fundraisers say | US news | the Guardian". TheGuardian.com. 10 February 2020. Archived from the original on 13 February 2020. Retrieved 13 February 2020.
  12. ^ a b c "Miriam Adelson". Hadassah Magazine. 22 October 2014.
  13. ^ "Meet the woman behind Sheldon Adelson". Fortune. Retrieved 3 August 2018.
  14. ^ Takahashi, Paul (8 February 2013). "Adelson Education Campus receives $50 million gift from namesake benefactors". Las Vegas Sun.
  15. ^ a b c "Meet the woman behind Sheldon Adelson". Fortune. Retrieved 3 August 2018.
  16. ^ a b MacWade, Alexandra (17 June 2016). "Miriam O. Adelson, a physician and expert in drug addiction research, is elected to the Board". News. Retrieved 1 December 2023.
  17. ^ a b c d "Meet the woman behind Sheldon Adelson". Fortune. Retrieved 3 August 2018.
  18. ^ "Sheldon G. Adelson and Dr. Miriam Adelson Receive Prestigious Woodrow Wilson Award for Corporate Citizenship" (Press release). Las Vegas Sands Corp. (via PR Newswire). March 26, 2008. Archived from the original on October 22, 2014.
  19. ^ "Grapevine: Honorary citizens". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 3 August 2018.
  20. ^ "Sheldon Adelson, Steve Wynn join Donald Trump's inauguration team". USA Today. Retrieved 9 August 2018.
  21. ^ a b "Trump to award Medal of Freedom to Elvis, Babe Ruth, among others". CNN.com. 11 November 2018.
  22. ^ "Miriam Adelson named publisher of Israel Hayom". Las Vegas Review-Journal. 18 May 2018. Retrieved 29 November 2023.
  23. ^ "Trustees – USC Board of Trustees". boardoftrustees.usc.edu. Retrieved 20 November 2021.
  24. ^ a b Golliver, Ben (29 November 2023). "Mark Cuban agrees to sell majority share of Mavericks to Adelson family". Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 29 November 2023.
  25. ^ a b "Miriam Adelson hopes there will be a biblical 'Book of Trump'". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 17 January 2021.
  26. ^ Komenda, Ed. "Miriam Adelson wants a 'Book of Trump' in the Bible. We asked an expert if that's possible". USA TODAY.
  27. ^ Dolsten, Josefin. "Miriam Adelson hopes there will be a biblical 'Book of Trump'". Times of Israel.
  28. ^ "Trump Grants Bibi's Wish for Pardon of Israeli Who Spied on America". The Daily Beast. Retrieved 24 January 2021.
  29. ^ "Miriam Adelson: Israelis and proud Jews owe Donald Trump our gratitude". World Israel News. Retrieved 24 January 2021.
  30. ^ "Miriam Adelson, Reuven Rivlin receive honorary doctorates from IDC Herzliya". Jewish News Syndicate. Retrieved 20 July 2021.
  31. ^ "Who is Miriam Adelson, the reported soon-to-be majority owner of the Dallas Mavericks?". WFAA Dallas. Retrieved 28 November 2023.
  32. ^ "Dead to Us: Miriam Adelson in a Special Column for Forbes Israel". Forbes Israel. Retrieved 20 November 2023.
  33. ^ a b "The Brass Ring". The New Yorker. Retrieved 3 August 2018.
  34. ^ a b "The Adelson Method". Haaretz. 6 March 2008. Retrieved 3 August 2018.

Further reading[edit]