The Slatest

Trump to Give Presidential Medal of Freedom to Elvis, Babe Ruth, and Wife of GOP Donor Who Gave $100 Million in Midterm Donations

Miriam and Sheldon Adelson.
Miriam and Sheldon Adelson at a Swarovski show on Sept. 14, 2016, in Macau. Anthony Kwan/Getty Images

This year’s recipients of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest honor for a civilian, include true heavyweights of American culture. Elvis Presley changed the face of rock and roll. Babe Ruth defined what excellence looked like on a baseball diamond. There are other big (all male) names that left a legacy in sports, like Roger Staubach, and on the American legal system, in Antonin Scalia, and then there’s Alan Page, who did both. There’s a hat tip to conservative politics with Orrin Hatch, the longest-serving Republican senator in American history, and then, ahem, there’s Miriam Adelson, wife of Republican megadonor and casino magnate Sheldon Adelson.


Adelson is, of course, a doctor turned billionaire philanthropist, but she’s best known as a GOP rainmaker, who along with her husband gave a whopping $113 million to GOP election efforts in the last midterms alone. Miriam Adelson was a finance vice chair for the Trump campaign and Sheldon Adelson was the largest donor to either party in the 2012 and 2016 presidential races, which included a $25 million donation to the Trump presidential effort. It all adds up to a big enough contribution (to Trump) that it netted both Adelsons a seat at Trump’s midterm election night watch party on Tuesday.