Sam Walton

Sam Walton

Samuel Walton grew up on a farm and, while in eighth grade, became the youngest Eagle Scout in Oklahoma.Born March 29, 1918, Sam held many jobs growing up during The Great Depression, including newspaper carrier and milking cows. His assistance with making ends meet at home earned him the title “Most Versatile Boy” by his classmates.He attended the University of Missouri where he majored in economics, was a ROTC officer, and was named "Permanent President," by his class.After college, he worked many jobs until joining the United States Army Intelligence Corps, where he supervised the security of aircraft plants and POW camps.Walton began his retail career in 1945, opening a Butler Brothers franchise, from the $20,000 borrowed from Thomas Gibson, his father, and $5,000 of his own money. There he pioneered the concepts of keeping the shelves stocked and staying open late, especially on Christmas.His next big breakthrough was buying in bulk to bring down prices charged to the customer, and in turn, purchased more from manufacturers.Again with the help of his father and brother-in-law, they opened the first Wal-Mart store in 1962.Wal-Mart has become the world's largest retailer and if Walton were alive, he would be the wealthiest person in the world — twice as wealthy as Microsoft's Bill Gates, who has been listed number one on Forbe's magazine's "The World's Richest People" in 1996, and from 1998 through 2005.


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