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The Walton family empire: Inside the lives of the billionaire Walmart heirs collectively worth more than Elon Musk or Jeff Bezos

the walton family walmart
The Walton siblings.

  • The Walmart heirs’ combined net worth is over $293 billion, according to Bloomberg.
  • In public, the Waltons live relatively modest lifestyles despite their wealth
  • Here’s how they spend their fortune.

The combined wealth of the Walmart heirs — which includes founder Sam Walton’s children, Rob, Jim, and Alice, as well as his grandson Lukas — is more than $293 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

While some have worked in the family business — whether that’s serving on the company board or working to manage the family’s wealth — others chose to pursue areas of personal passion.

Sam Walton, the original man behind the company that now encompasses both Walmart and Sam’s Club, set his family up for financial success when he divided the ownership before he died.

He wasn’t a man of flashy luxury, but you can see how his children are living a slightly more lavish life now. Here’s a look at how the Walton family empire spends its money: 

Sam Walton opened the first Walmart store in Rogers, Arkansas, in 1962.
sam walton
The original Wal-Mart name tag used to look like this one, worn here by Sam Walton.

He married Helen Robson on Valentine’s Day in 1942.
Helen Robson
Sam and Helen had a Valentine’s Day wedding.

Together, they had four children: Rob, John, Jim, and Alice.

By the time Sam died in 1992, he had set up the company ownership in a way that minimized the estate taxes anyone on the receiving end would have to pay.
Walton family
Sam Walton died at the age of 74 of cancer.

Source: Fortune

He set up his ownership of Walmart’s stock in a family partnership — each of his children held 20% of Walton Enterprises, while he and Helen each held 10%. Helen inherited Sam’s 10% tax-free when he died.
sam walton
The stocks were carefully divided among the family.

Source: Fortune

Samuel Robson “Rob” Walton is the oldest Walton child. He is 79 years old.
Rob Walton
Rob served as chairman of Walmart for many years.

He served as chairman of Walmart from 1992 until 2015 and remained on the board after.
Rob Walton Walmart
He’ll retire from the board in 2024.

He’s stepping down from the board at the end of his current term in 2024.

Rob made a splash in 2022 by leading an ownership group to buy the Denver Broncos.
Denver Broncos
The group was led by Rob Walton, his daughter Carrie Walton Penner, and her partner Greg Penner.

The group purchased the NFL team for a $4.65 billion in summer 2022 in a record-breaking sale at the time.

Rob has purchased a house in Paradise Valley, Arizona, near the base of Camelback Mountain.
Paradise Valley Arizona
Walton owns a house in Paradise Valley, Arizona.

In the past, protesters have rallied outside of his Arizona home to advocate for better wages and benefits for Walmart workers.
Walmart protest florida
Protesters at a Walmart in Boynton Beach, Florida, called for better wages and benefits.

Besides real estate, Rob has a large collection of vintage cars.
vintage cars
Walton’s personal vintage car collection is not pictured.

In 2013, he ran his Daytona Coupe, which was worth $15 million at the time, off the tracks and wrecked it. The car was one of only five ever made.
Daytona Coupe
Walton’s Daytona Coupe was totaled in a crash.

Sam Walton’s second-oldest child, John Walton, died in a plane crash in 2005.
John Walton
John (right) with his mother (center) and older brother, Rob (left).

He was 58 years old.

He was married to Christy Walton and had one son, Lukas.
Lukas Walton
Lukas Walton, pictured here, is the grandson of Walmart founder Sam Walton.

John left about 17% of his wealth to his wife, and he gave the rest to charity and to his son.
Christy Walton
John Walton left half of his fortune to charitable trusts and a third to his son.

John served in Vietnam as a Green Beret. When he returned from the war he held a series of jobs — like the Walmart company pilot, a crop duster, and the owner a few yachting companies — before becoming a Walmart board member.
John T Walton
John (second from left) pictured with members of his family.

Source: Fortune

In 2013, Christy decided to sell their Jackson Hole mansion. She also sold the family’s ranch for an undisclosed price in 2016 after listing it for $100 million in 2011.
Christy Walton Wal-Mart wyoming mansion
The family had a mansion in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

The 8,606-square-foot home was put on the market for $12.5 million.
Walton Jackson Hole Mansion
An aerial view of John and Christy Walton’s mansion.

Source: Curbed

James “Jim” Walton is the youngest son of Walmart founder Sam Walton. He is 75 years old.
Jim Walton
Jim Walton is now 75 years old.

He is chairman of the board of the family’s Arvest Bank Group. One of the state’s largest banks today, Arvest Bank has assets totaling more than $27 billion.
Arvest
One of many Arvest Bank locations in Bentonville, Arkansas.

Source: Bloomberg

He also served on the Walmart board, starting in 2005 to fill the vacancy after his brother John died. Jim Walton’s son, Steuart, took over his father’s seat on the board in 2016.
Jim Walton
Jim served on the board for more than a decade.

Now, he presides over Walton Enterprises — the private company that deals with the investments and finances of the Walton family only — from modest offices in Bentonville, Arkansas.
walton enterprises inc
Jim now manages the family’s finances.

Source: Fortune

The youngest of founder Sam Walton’s children, Alice Walton is worth $86.3 billion, according to Bloomberg. She has been divorced twice and has no children. She is 74 years old.
Alice Walton
Alice Walton is the youngest of Walmart founder Sam Walton’s children.

Alice has never taken an active role in running the family business.
Alice Walton (Jim out of focus)
Alice Walton with Jim Walton in 2013.

Instead, she became a patron of the arts, which she fell in love with at a young age.
Alice Walton
Alice has spent millions building her art collection.

When she was 10, she bought her first work of art: a reproduction of Picasso’s “Blue Nude” for about $2, she told The New Yorker.
Picasso Blue Room
Picasso’s “The Blue Room.”

Source: The New Yorker

She has an immense private art collection, with original works from Andy Warhol and Georgia O’Keeffe. Alice opened a museum in Bentonville called Crystal Bridges in 2011 to house her $500 million private art collection.
crystal bridges calder
The museum displays both paintings and sculptures, like this one by Alexander Calder (center).

When it opened, Crystal Bridges had four times the endowment of the famous Whitney Museum in New York.

The collection includes a Georgia O’Keeffe painting that Alice spent $44.4 million on in 2014 — the biggest sale for a woman’s piece of art in history.
Georgia O'Keeffe
Georgia O’Keeffe, “Jimson Weed/White Flower No. 1” (1932), Sotheby’s.

Source: The Observer

Alice also breeds horses.
FILE - In this Sept. 4, 2013, file photo, mustangs recently captured on federal rangeland roam a corral at the U.S. Bureau of Land Management's holding facility north of Reno, in Palomino, Nev. Two House committee chairmen are trying to put the brakes on money for a new Trump administration proposal to accelerate the capture of 130,000 wild horses across the West over the next 10 years. (AP Photo/Scott Sonner, File)
Besides art, she loves spending time with horses.

Her Millsap, Texas, property, Rocking W Ranch, sold to the Three Amigos Investment Group of Kermit, Texas, in September 2017 for an undisclosed amount.
Rocking W Ranch
Alice Walton’s ranch was called Rocking W Ranch.

Source: Star-Telegram

It had an initial asking price of $19.75 million, which was reduced to $16.5 million. The working ranch had over 250 acres of pasture and outbuildings for cattle and horses.
Rocking W Ranch
It was also next to a large lake.

Source: WilliamsTrew

Her other, 4,416-acre Texas ranch was previously listed at a reduced price of $22 million.
Fortune bend ranch
A huge firepit was built in the backyard.

The modest, three-bedroom, two-bathroom home overlooks the Brazos River.

Alice also bought a two-floor condo on New York’s Park Ave. for $25 million in 2014.
park avenue new york
Park Avenue pictured above at night.

It has more than 52 large windows overlooking Central Park plus a media room, a winding staircase, and more than 6,000 total square feet of space.
shutterstock_571830520
View of Central Park from the southeast.

In January 2016, Alice donated 3.7 million of her Walmart shares — worth about $225 million at the time — to the family’s nonprofit, the Walton Family Foundation.
Walton Family Foundation
The Walton Family Foundation website.

Sam and Helen started the foundation as a way to teach their children how to give back and how to work together.
Sam and Helen Walton
The Walton Family Foundation was established in 1987, when Walmart celebrated its 25th anniversary.

The charity awards millions of dollars in grants to causes that align with the foundation’s values.
Screen Shot 2018 12 05 at 5.29.18 PM
Alice Walton.

The foundation awarded $566.5 million in grants in 2022, according to its website.

The foundation has three main areas of focus:
Screen Shot 2018 12 05 at 5.30.57 PM
A project put on by the Walton Family Foundation.

The foundation’s focus on education was led by John. His brother Jim said John was really interested in being able to give parents choices when it came to their child’s schooling.
John Walton
The foundation was dedicated to supporting children’s education.

Rob spearheaded the foundation’s venture into environmental protection. One of the first grants they gave helped develop a sustainable fisheries label.
Walton Family Foundation
Rob launched the environmental and sustainability branch of the foundation.

A commitment to the family’s home of Arkansas is another large part of the foundation. The website says this area of focus is about “advancing our home region of Northwest Arkansas and the Arkansas-Mississippi Delta.”
Home Range arkansas
The Bentonville town square.

Walmart Inc., which owns Walmart and Sam’s Club, is the largest retailer in the US in terms of revenue.
walmart 1
The storefront of a Walmart.

 In fiscal year 2023, Walmart reported $648.1 billion in revenue.

When Walmart has a good quarter, the Waltons make hundreds of millions of dollars in dividends.
the walton family walmart
The Walton siblings.

Even though the Walton family is raking in billions as a result of the company’s success, they remain relatively under-the-radar in terms of flashing their wealth — much like their patriarch, Sam, did in the early years.
walmart mexico
A Walmart store in Mexico.

Read the original article on Business Insider

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