Miriam Adelson (née Farbstein; formerly Ochshorn; born 10 October 1945) is an Israeli American physician and political donor. Educated as a physician, she married American business magnate Sheldon Adelson in 1991, and has since become known as a donor to conservative political causes in the United States and Israel. Adelson and her husband were the largest donors of US President Donald 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.
She has argued that Trump deserves a "Book of Trump" in The Bible. Haaretz wrote that the Adelsons had "hijacked" the Israeli-American Council to turn it into a pressure group for a "hard-right agenda." She is the current publisher of the newspaper Israel Hayom. Miriam and Sheldon Adelson were presented with the Woodrow Wilson Award for Corporate Citizenship by the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars of the Smithsonian Institution in 2008. In 2013, she received honorary citizenship of Jerusalem. She was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by Donald Trump in 2018.
Adelson was born in Tel Aviv, Mandatory Palestine in 1945, to parents who fled Poland before the Holocaust. Her father was a prominent member of the Mapam political party. In the 1950s, her family settled in Haifa, where Adelson's father owned and operated several movie theaters. She attended the Hebrew Reali School for 12 years. 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, she earned a medical degree from Tel Aviv University's Sackler Medical School.
She became a physician and eventually the chief internist in an emergency room at Tel Aviv's Rokach (Hadassah) Hospital. After divorcing her first husband, she went to Rockefeller University in 1986 as an associate physician specializing in drug addiction. She was mentored by and collaborated with Mary Jeanne Kreek. In 1993, she founded a substance abuse center and research clinic. In 2000, she and her second husband opened the Dr. Miriam and Sheldon G. Adelson Research Clinic in Las Vegas. A strong supporter of Israel, she admitted her heart has always been in that country and that she got "stuck" in America after meeting her husband.
Support for Donald Trump
Adelson is known for her support for Donald Trump. 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. 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.
She married Ariel Ochshorn, also a physician, with whom she had two children. Adelson divorced Ochshorn in the 1980s, and while at studying at Rockefeller University, she met Sheldon Adelson, whom she married in 1991. She is credited with influencing Sheldon's political views on Israel and served as one of the 'finance vice-chairs' for the inauguration of Donald Trump.
Honors and awards
- Presidential Medal of Freedom, awarded by President Donald Trump (2018)
- Doctor Honoris Causa by Tel Aviv University (2007)