Meet the Billionaire Who Backs Newt
Sheldon Adelson gave $10M to pro-Newt Super Pac
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 28, 2012 12:50 PM CST
Las Vegas Sands Chairman and CEO Sheldon Adelson waves to reporters.   (AP Photo/Vincent Yu, File)

(Newser) – Who is the multi-billionaire casino mogul backing Newt Gingrich's campaign? Meet 78-year-old Sheldon Adelson, a very private man who supports Israel and Republican causes, the Guardian reports. Now he has boosted Gingrich in the primaries by giving $10 million to a pro-Newt super PAC. "Our motivation for helping Newt is simple ... we hold our friendship with him very dear," Adelson and his wife said. Little wonder, considering how personal relationships have guided his politics.

A scrappy businessman who rose out of poverty, the former liberal switched to conservatism after meeting a brother of the first President Bush. Adelson later increased his pro-Israeli activism after marrying his Israeli second wife. So who's the real Adelson? Enemies describe him as a pugilistic bully who hates being disagreed with; even his own sons sued him over a stock deal gone wrong (they lost). But tell that to the 40 wounded US soldiers Adelson flew into Las Vegas for a weekend of fun in 2008. Says a friend: "He's known as this tough person, but one-on-one he can be a softy."