(CNN) -- Shedlon Adelson is chairman of the board and chief executive officer of Las Vegas Sands Corp.
Growing up in a poor immigrant family in Boston, he went to work at a young age hawking newspapers on local street corners, and owned his first business by the time he was twelve. In the years that followed, he worked as a mortgage broker, investment adviser and financial consultant.
Up to this point in his career, Mr. Adelson has created and developed to maturity more than 50 different companies, including COMDEX, a tradeshow he developed for the computer industry. Under his direction, COMDEX became the world's largest trade show with a presence in more than 20 countries.
In 1989, Adelson purchased the Sands Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas --the former hangout of Frank Sinatra and the Rat Pack -- in order to bring Las Vegas to a new phase of business centricity through the exhibition industry. The following year, he oversaw the building of the Sands Expo and Convention Center, the only privately-owned and operated convention center in the U.S.
In 1995, Mr. Adelson sold the Interface Group Show Division, including the COMDEX shows, to Softbank Corporation of Japan for a cash price in excess of $860 million.
In 1991, while honeymooning in Venice with his wife, Dr. Miriam Adelson, he gained the inspiration and theme for a mega-resort hotel, and he began the construction of the $1.5 billion, Venetian Resort-Hotel-Casino, on the site of the old Sands.
Mr. Adelson still maintains control of 88 per cent of the Las Vegas Sands Corporation, leading analysts to speculate his net worth at more than $26 billion -- making him one of the 10 richest people in America.
Mr. Adelson has been granted honorary degrees and other awards, and has been a guest speaker at various colleges and universities, including the University of New Haven, Harvard Business School, Columbia Business School, Tel Aviv University and Babson College.
Dr. and Mr. Adelson live in Las Vegas. E-mail to a friend