Sam Walton was an American entrepreneur who founded Wal-Mart Stores Inc., which grew to be the world’s largest corporation in terms of revenue and the largest private employer. Founded in 1962, the organization now operates hundreds of locations worldwide. Sam Walton spent years in the retail management industry prior to founding Wal-Mart. He was born into a humble farming family in the late 1910s and grew up during the Great Depression, a time when not just his family, but everyone else battled to make ends meet. While still a child, he worked a variety of jobs to help support his family, which taught him the value of hard work and tenacity at a young age. He studied economics at the University of Missouri and finished with a bachelor’s degree. After a brief stint at J. C. Penney, he enlisted in the army and served during the war years before delving into the retail management sector. He took over operation of his first variety business in Newport, Arkansas, when he purchased a Ben Franklin variety store. Eventually, in 1962, he launched the first Wal-Mart shop, which has grown to over 11,000 locations in 28 countries.
Childhood & Adolescence
On March 29, 1918, in Kingfisher, Oklahoma, United States, he was born Samuel Moore Walton to Thomas Gibson Walton and Nancy Lee. James was his younger brother. His father was a farmer who eventually resorted to agricultural mortgaging when farming failed to pay for his family.Throughout Sam’s early life, his family traveled frequently. He was an excellent student and achieved the state’s youngest Eagle Scout when enrolled in the eighth grade at Shelbina, Missouri.
His family eventually made their way to Columbia, Missouri. He grew up during the Great Depression and worked a variety of odd jobs to assist his family make ends meet. He also sold magazine subscriptions and delivered newspapers, among other things. Additionally, he milked the family cow, bottle surplus milk, and sell it to customers.He attended David H. Hickman High School in Columbia, where he graduated in 1936 as the “Most Versatile Boy.”
He then enrolled as a Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) cadet at the University of Missouri. He also joined the Beta Theta Pi fraternity’s Zeta Phi chapter and served as President of Burall Bible Class, a large class of University of Missouri and Stephens College students.He joined QEBH, the campus’s well-known secret society honoring thefinest senior men, and Scabbard and Blade, the national military honor organization, during his university years. Heearned a bachelor’s degree in economics in 1940.
Career of Sam
Walton began working for J. C. Penney as a management trainee in Des Moines, Iowa, just days after graduating. In 1942, he resigned from his employment to serve in World War II. Prior to joining the service, he spent time working at a DuPont munitions plant outside Tulsa, Oklahoma.He enlisted in the United States Army Intelligence Corps and was tasked with supervising security at aircraft factories and prisoner of war camps. He eventually rose to the rank of Captain in the army and returned to normal life following the war’s conclusion.
By 1945, he had married and borrowed money from his father-in-law to acquire a Ben Franklin variety store in Newport, Arkansas. The store was a Butler Brothers franchise.With his pioneering approaches, Walton had tremendous success in retail management, and by the early 1960s, he and his brother James owned 15 Ben Franklin franchises and one independent store.Walton now intended to open larger stores at lower pricing in rural areas in order to attract more customers and increase sales volume. However, the officials at Ben Franklin were opposed to this concept and rejected the plan.
Sam Walton, undeterred, opened the first Wal-Mart shop in Rogers, Arkansas, on July 2, 1962. Around this time, the Walton brothers partnered with Stefan Dasbach to expand their firm.Keeping product prices low was a crucial factor in the success of Wal-Mart stores. Walton concentrated his efforts on getting products from American manufacturers capable of supplying merchandise at extremely low prices for the whole Wal-Mart chain in order to compete with foreign competitors.
Several Wal-Mart stores opened around the country during the next few years, and by 1967, the Walton family had 24 stores with combined sales of up to $12.7 million! Within a few years, Walton incorporated his business as Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.The company went public in 1970, with the initial share priced at $16.50. Wal-Mart was listed on the New York Stock Exchange in 1972. (WMT). By 1980, the company’s annual revenue had surpassed $1 billion.Sam Walton, who has always been an innovator, founded the first Sam’s Club in the 1980s to assist small businesses and people.
The first Wal-Mart Supercenter debuted during the same decade, combining a grocery and general items to provide one-stop shopping convenience.Wal-Mart continued to prosper in the following years, and by the early 1990s, the company’s stock value had risen to $45 billion. Wal-Mart surpassed Sears, Roebuck & Company to become the nation’s largest retailer in 1991.Walton resigned as CEO in 1988 but remained an active member of the corporation until his death in 1992.
His Significant Works
Sam Walton is well known as the founder of Wal-Mart. Founded in 1962 in the United States, the company has grown into a global with over 11,000 locations in 28 countries operating under 65 banners. Wal-Mart is also the world’s largest firm in terms of revenue and the largest private employer.
Works of Philanthropy
Sam Walton was a firm believer in philanthropy. The Walmart Foundation was founded in 1979 to assist the less fortunate, with a particular emphasis on the key areas of opportunity, sustainability, and community.He supported numerous charity activities alongside his wife and was an enthusiastic member of the First Presbyterian Church in Bentonville, where he served as a ruling elder and Sunday School instructor. Additionally, he made significant financial gifts to the church.
Awards and Accomplishments
From 1982 until 1988, ‘Forbes’ magazine ranked Walton as the country’s wealthiest man.In 1992, President George H. W. Bush presented Sam Walton with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor, praising him as a “American original” who “embodies the entrepreneurial spirit and represents the American dream.”Walton was named to Time’s list of the 100 most important individuals of the twentieth century in 1998.
Personal History and Legacies
On February 14, 1943, Sam Walton married Helen Robson. The couple was blessed with four children: three sons and a daughter.Walton was an avid hunter, particularly of quail. He was an enthusiastic member of the Church and also taught Sunday School alongside his wife. Additionally, the Walton family supported numerous charitable initiatives.He battled two types of cancer in his final years: hairy-cell leukemia and bone marrow malignancy. Sam Walton passed away on April 5, 1992, at the age of 74.
Estimated Net Worth
Sam Walton was an American businessman and entrepreneur who died in 1992 with an estimated net worth of $8.6 billion (about $15 billion in today’s money). Walton is often regarded as one of the twentieth century’s most significant figures. He is well recognized for developing Walmart and Sam’s Club, two of the world’s largest retailers. Walmart eventually became the largest corporation in the world in terms of revenue, and it grew to employ more people than any other private company.