By the time Mitt Romney wrapped up the Republican presidential nomination in 2012, Sheldon Adelson and his wife, Miriam, had already poured $15 million into the super PAC supporting former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, Winning Our Future. That massive sum, spent on a candidate who was always something of a long shot (despite a couple of short-lived surges in the polls), bewildered many political observers. However, it was barely a drop in the bucket for the 80-year-old Adelson, whose Las Vegas Sands casino empire has made him a billionaire many times over. According to Forbes, Adelson’s estimated net worth was $27 billion as of May 2015.

After the primary, Adelson shifted his attention from defeating Mitt Romney to defeating President Obama and other Democratic candidates, contributing a total of nearly $53.7 million to super PACs in the 2012 cycle. Twenty million went to the Romney-supporting Restore Our Future , and $1 million went to a super PAC backing Florida Senate hopeful Connie Mack. Adelson and his wife also gave $5 million to the Congressional Leadership Fund, a super PAC chaired by former Minnesota Republican Sen. Norm Coleman, $5 million to the YG Action Fund, and $1 million to the Ending Spending Action Fund, which ran anti-Obama ads. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, Adelson “contributed more than $150 million to pro-Republican efforts during the 2012 election cycle.”

The presidential race may have thrust him into the spotlight, but Adelson’s substantial giving didn’t come out of the blue. In 2007, Sheldon and Miriam Adelson started the Adelson Family Foundation “to strengthen the State of Israel and the Jewish people,” a mission reflected in sizable grants to a variety of Jewish charities and advocacy groups. Most significantly, the Adelsons have gifted more than $134 million to the Birthright Israel Foundation, which provides free educational trips to Israel for Jews between the ages of 18 and 26 years old. In 2012, the foundation gave out more than $44,834,048 in grants.

Adelson is also the owner of Israel Hayom, a “free daily newspaper [in Israel] known for its relentless drumbeat of support for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other right-wing politicians.” Adelson received wide media coverage and even elicited a response from the Iranian government when he suggested that the U.S. detonate a nuclear weapon inside Iran as a way to induce the country’s government to end its nuclear program.

At home, Adelson’s political giving reflects his hawkishness on foreign policy and, perhaps especially, his abhorrence of organized labor. Accordingly, the vast majority of his contributions have benefited Republican candidates and committees, even though Adelson describes himself as a “social liberal.” In 2008, Adelson was the “main funder” of an outside group called Freedom’s Watch, which closed its doors about a month after the election. Notably, that organization’s leadership included Carl Forti, a longtime Republican operative connected to Restore Our Future and Karl Rove’s American Crossroads.

Adelson is also behind a campaign to ban internet gambling. His group, the Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling, co-chaired by former senator Blanche Lincoln, will try to highlight the dangers online gambling poses to children and the poor. According to the Washington Post, “Adelson’s competitors question his concern about the social costs of Internet gambling.  They note that his company obtained an online gambling license in 2003 in one of the British Channel Islands.”

As a Buzzfeed profile revealed in May 2015, “for those competing for Adelson cash, [Miriam] is just as important as her husband. The Adelsons make their giving decisions together. When Sheldon Adelson meets with prospective recipients, Miriam Adelson is often there, too.” As Adelson ages, Miriam is “expected to take on an even more prominent role within the organization, and to be the keeper of the Adelson political infrastructure.”

Observers shouldn’t expect a change in political giving with the shift toward greater power to Miriam, however. The Buzzfeed profile quoted a family friend saying “it would be a mistake to believe that his politics are dramatically different from hers, or vice versa” and noted that Miriam was “widely believed to have been the main driver behind the decision to fund Gingrich.”

165 transactions on record as a donor.

Ordered By: Year (Newer to Older)

#
Donor
Recipient
Amount
Year
Link
1Miriam AdelsonWinning Our Future$5,000,0002012+
2Miriam AdelsonCongressional Leadership Fund$2,500,0002012+
3Miriam AdelsonWinning Our Future$2,500,0002012+
4Miriam AdelsonWinning Our Future$5,000,0002012+
5Miriam AdelsonRepublican National Committee$30,8002012+
6Miriam AdelsonLas Vegas Sands Corporation PAC$4,2002012+
7Miriam AdelsonMcConnell Senate Committee '14$2,5002012+
8Miriam AdelsonMontanans for Rehberg$2,5002012+
9Miriam AdelsonMontanans for Rehberg$2,5002012+
10Miriam AdelsonShmuley for Congress$2,5002012+
11Miriam AdelsonShmuley for Congress$2,5002012+
12Miriam AdelsonYG Action Fund$2,500,0002012+
13Miriam AdelsonRestore Our Future$5,000,0002012+
14Miriam AdelsonRestore Our Future$5,000,0002012+
15Miriam AdelsonEnding Spending Action Fund$500,0002012+
16Miriam AdelsonTreasure Coast Jobs Coalition$250,0002012+
17Miriam AdelsonTreasure Coast Jobs Coalition$250,0002012+
18Miriam AdelsonPatriot Prosperity PAC$250,0002012+
19Miriam AdelsonLas Vegas Sands Corporation PAC$5,0002011+
20Miriam AdelsonFriends of Joe Heck$5,0002011+
21Miriam AdelsonFriends of Joe Heck$2,5002011+
22Miriam AdelsonHeller for Senate$2,5002011+
23Miriam AdelsonHeller for Senate$2,5002011+
24Miriam AdelsonRepublican National Committee$30,8002011+
25Miriam AdelsonAmodei for Nevada$2,5002011+
26Miriam AdelsonNewt 2012$2,5002011+
27Miriam AdelsonNational Republican Congressional Committee$30,8002011+
28Miriam AdelsonRepublican National Committee$30,8002011+
29Miriam AdelsonAdam Hasner for US House$1,0002011+
30Miriam AdelsonFriends of John Boehner$5,0002011+
31Miriam AdelsonFriends of John Boehner$2,5002011+
32Miriam AdelsonNational Republican Senatorial Committee$30,4002010+
33Miriam AdelsonScott Brown for US Senate Committee$2,4002010+
34Miriam AdelsonFriends of Joe Heck$2,4002010+
35Miriam AdelsonLas Vegas Sands Corporation PAC$5,0002010+
36Miriam AdelsonBachmann for Congress$2,4002010+
37Miriam AdelsonFriends of Joe Heck$2,4002010+
38Miriam AdelsonBrian Sandoval$5,0002010+
39Miriam AdelsonEvery Republican is Crucial$5,0002010+
40Miriam AdelsonFriends of Sharron Angle$2,4002010+
41Miriam AdelsonSharron Angle GOP Victory Committee$10,0002010+
42Miriam AdelsonMissouri Republican State Committee$5,0002010+
43Miriam AdelsonProtect Your Vote$200,0002010+
44Miriam AdelsonFiorina Victory Committee$2,4002010+
45Miriam AdelsonColeman Minnesota Recount Committee$10,0002009+
46Miriam AdelsonNational Republican Senatorial Committee$30,4002009+
47Miriam AdelsonCharlie Crist for US Senate$2,4002009+
48Miriam AdelsonCharlie Crist for US Senate$2,4002009+
49Miriam AdelsonCantor for Congress$2,4002009+
50Miriam AdelsonCantor for Congress$2,4002009+
Contributions from private foundations and other nonprofit entities are based on a review of publicly available Forms 990 filed with the Internal Revenue Service. For more information about our methodology, visit our about page.