WALTON (VETERAN WWII; FAMOUS), SAMUEL MOORE - Benton County, Arkansas | SAMUEL MOORE WALTON (VETERAN WWII; FAMOUS) - Arkansas Gravestone Photos

Samuel Moore WALTON (VETERAN WWII; FAMOUS)

Bentonville City Cemetery
Benton County,
Arkansas

29 March 1918 – 05 April 1992.

Business Entrepreneur, Founder and First CEO of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.

Samuel Moore Walton was born near Kingfisher, Oklahoma, the son of Thomas Gibson and Nancy Lee "Nannie" Lawrence Walton. The family left their Oklahoma farm in 1923 and relocated to Missouri. Sam attended high school in Columbia, then attended the University of Missouri-Columbia where he completed his baccalaureate degree with a major in economics in 1940. His first job was with J. C. Penney as a management trainee; however, he resigned this position in 1942 and moved to Oklahoma where he worked for a short time at the DuPont Company’s munitions plant near Tulsa. It was here that he met his future wife, Helen Robson, whom he married on February 14, 1943. Sam’s military career began on July 16, 1942, and served as a communications officer for the Army Intelligence Corps detachment assigned to Co. A, 777th Military Police Battalion, Fort Douglas, Salt Lake City, Utah. Sam resigned his US Army commission in 1945 having earned the rank of Captain. After leaving the military, the family moved to Newport, Arkansas where they had purchased a Ben Franklin franchise. It was here, that Sam began developing the marketing concept that would eventually make him one of the richest man in the United States, declared by Forbes to be the richest from 1985-1988. After not having his lease renewed, he and Helen moved to Bentonville, Arkansas. There he bought his first store, and renamed it Walton's 5 & 10, being the first self service variety store in the state of Arkansas. After opening several other Ben Franklin franchises, and with the owners declining to cut their profit margins, Sam opened his first discount store, Wal-Mart, in Rogers, Arkansas in 1962. Expanding his business, Wal-Mart was incorporated in 1969. In 1970, Wal-Mart offered 300,000 shares of public stock with the Walton family retaining 61 percent ownership. By the end of 1980, 330 Wal-Mart stores were operating. In 1991, Wal-Mart became the largest retailer in the nation with 1,700 stores in operation. Wal-Mart was the first to use UPC bar-codes, and with private satellite systems to track delivery trucks, process credit card transactions, and transmit sales data, the "just in time" method of inventory was introduced, which eliminated the need for storage at each store. His pioneering concepts paved the way for a new breed of retailer and forever changed the face of retailing. In March 1992, Sam was awarded the Medal of Freedom by President George H. W. Bush. A few days later Sam was diagnosed with cancer that took his life within a month of receiving the award. At the time of his death, he had a net worth of nearly $25 billion. On October 6, 1998, the Walton Family Charitable Support Foundation gave $50 million to the University of Arkansas to establish the Sam M. Walton College of Business Administration to memorialize Sam through provision of a variety of programs and opportunities for both students and faculty.

SOURCES:
REFhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sam_Walton (last accessed March 4, 2009)
REFhttp://www.encyclopediaofarkansas.net/encyclopedia/entry-detail.aspx?entryID=1792 (last accessed March 4, 2009)
REFhttp://www.entrepreneur.com/growyourbusiness/radicalsandvisionaries/article197560.html (last accessed March 4, 2009)

Contributed on 2/10/09 by wfields55
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Record #: 150558

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Submitted: 2/10/09 • Approved: 3/4/09 • Last Updated: 7/29/12 • R150558-G150558-S3

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