Mervyn L. Adelson

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Mervyn L. Adelson is a retired American Television producer, known for hits such as The Waltons, Dallas, and Knots Landing.[1] During the 1990s Adelson was reportedly close to Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu and acted as a go-between between him and US President Bill Clinton.[1]

Adelson was, together with Marvin Josephson, international co-chairman of Israel’s Fiftieth-Anniversary Committee. According to Josephson he and Adelson were appointed to the position by Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu in 1996. The pair were accused by the Jerusalem Post of corruption in relation to the anniversary celebrations. [2]

His ex-wife is American broadcast journalist, author and television personality Barbara Walters.[1]


In 1989 Adelson became a Time Warner vice-chairman. Once worth $300 million, he lost his fortune as a result of the merger of AOL and Time Warner. [1] In 2013 he admitted to having had ties to the Las Vegas Mafia - connections he had denied when allegations were first made in Penthouse magazine in 1975.[3]

Adelson is listed, together with Thea Adelson, as a friend of the Israel Airforce Center Foundation on their 'Donor Wall of Honor'.[4]

In June 2001 in his role as chairman of the Simon Wiesenthal Center Adelson presented actor Michael Douglas with the 'Museum of Tolerance Humanitarian Award.'[5] Adelson is currently listed as a trustee of the organisation.[6]

He is also reportedly a supporter of Friends of the Israel Defense Forces, American-Israel Friendship League, United States Middle East Project of the Council on Foreign Relations, and Builders for Peace.[7]

In January 2003 it was reported that Adelson had launched an organisation, Access Middle East, which aimed to change journalistic coverage of Israel:

AME is not a PR effort. It is a rich resource for attributable news, information and analysis. I've been involved in communications, media and advertising for many years. For the past 30 years, I've been very conscious of how the media has turned around on Israel. And I've worked for many years to try to change things, mostly unsuccessfully until now... We determined that if we can change the modus operandi of how journalists obtain their facts, then we can influence hundreds of papers and millions of people. We're not targeting first-tier newspapers, because they frequently have journalists on the ground who are already entrenched, and our ability to move them is limited. But throughout the U.S. and the world are thousands of newspapers who don't have their own correspondents in Israel and are dependent on the news services like AP and Reuters, who in turn depend on Arab stringers. We want to give those journalists the chance to report the story directly. So we're targeting second- and third-tier press in cities such as Boston, Detroit, Cleveland, Miami and San Diego.[8]

The URL for the organisation ( is no longer active and it appears that the organisation is now defunct.





  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Bryan Burrough, 'Remembrance of Wings Past', Vanity Fair, 12 February 2013, accessed 5 March 2015
  2. Craig Horowitz, 'America’s Jews Israel’s Lost Tribe?', New York Magazine, 27 April 1998, accessed 5 March 2015
  3. Staff, 'Former TV Macher Merv Adelson Talks About Financial Ruin and His Las Vegas–Mob Ties', Vanity Fair, 31 January 2013, accessed 5 March 2015
  4. IAFC Website Donor Wall of Honor. Accessed 5 March 2015.
  5. Army Archerd, 'Douglas speaks his mind at award presentation', Variety, 26 June 2001, accessed 5 March 2015
  6. Simon Wiesenthal Center Website SWC Board of Trustees. Accessed 5 March 2015.
  7. Staff, 'Changing the World, One Journalist at a Time',, 31 January 2013, accessed 5 March 2015
  8. Staff, 'Changing the World, One Journalist at a Time',, 31 January 2013, accessed 5 March 2015