Sheldon Adelson was the founder of the COMDEX trade show and early in my career his team was gracious enough to work with me to promote the first magazine I published named CTI. I have always been impressed by his business skills – he ran the largest show in the US and when he sold it and stopped his involvement it went downhill fairly quickly and eventually collapsed.
At the peak of the show in the late nineties in Atlanta, GA, TMC gave away well over 10,000 magazines from a 20x30 booth – there are few other shows – even today where you could achieve such a feat. As I recall, we probably could have given out even more but we ran out!
After he sold COMDEX, he then went on to run a string of global casinos – very successfully. He seems to turn everything he touches into gold. Moreover he has been a great philanthropist having founded a school in his local community which I hear firsthand is quite good. He has now donated an additional $50M to The Adelson Educational Campus allowing it to expand and improve the education of students in the Las Vegas area.
The media seems to be obsessed with talking about tech’s latest movers and shakers like Mark Zuckerberg but its worth pointing out that events like COMDEX were in-part responsible for laying the foundation for everything we experience in tech today. Moreover, yesterday’s tech leaders like Adelson are still actively giving back to the world in many positive ways.