A retailer who founded Wal-Mart, the world’s largest company by revenue
Sam Walton is born in Kingfisher, Oklahoma.
Graduates from the University of Missouri.
Begins his career as a sales trainee at a J.C. Penney store in Des Moines, Iowa, where his enthusiasm for retail and customer service first develops.
Joins the US Military.
Marries Helen Robson.
Purchases a Ben Franklin variety store in Newport, Arkansas, with the help of a $20,000 loan from his father-in-law.
Walton buys the Harrison Variety store, the first self-service variety store in Arkansas, where customers could browse goods before bringing them to the clerk for purchase – a novel concept at the time.
Walton partners with his brother Bud. Their group of Ben Franklin stores become the nation’s largest
chain of independently owned variety stores.
Walton opens his first Wal-Mart store in Rogers, Arkansas, where he first implements his discount maximizing business model.
Sam Walton opens the first Sam’s Club in Midwest City, Oklahoma.
Forbes names Walton the richest man in the United States.
Walton steps down as CEO, but remains active in the company.
Wal-Mart becomes the largest U.S. retailer, with over 1700 locations.
Walton is awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom under President Bush.
Walton’s autobiography, Sam Walton: Made in America, becomes a bestseller.
Walton dies on April 6, 1992, with an estimated net worth of over $21 billion.
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