How the Waltons — America’s wealthiest family and heirs to the Walmart empire — live their lives

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Sam Walton — who created Walmart and Sam’s Club — wasn’t a man of flashy luxury. But his children live a slightly more lavish life now. AP/April L. Brown


The combined wealth of the Walmart heirs – which includes Rob, Jim, and Alice, as well as John’s wife, Christy, and their son Lukas – is more than $US175 billion, according to The Financial Post.

While some work 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.


Sam Walton opened the first Walmart store in Arkansas in 1962.

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Sam Walton wearing an original Wal-Mart name tag. Associated Press

He married Helen Robson on Valentine’s Day in 1942, and together they had four children: Rob, John, Jim, and Alice.

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The couple had a romantic Valentine’s Day wedding. April L. Brown/Associated Press

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 of his will had to pay.

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Sam was very organised with his finances. Rick Wilking/Reuters

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.

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The stocks were carefully divided between the family. Courtesy of Walmart

Source: Fortune


Samuel Robson “Rob” Walton is the oldest Walton child.

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Rob served as chairman of Walmart for many years. Reuters

He served as chairman of Walmart until 2015.

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He retired five years ago. Rick T. Wilking / Stringer / Getty Images

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

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The beautiful Paradise Valley, Arizona. Tim Roberts Photography/Shutterstock

In the past, protesters have rallied outside of his Arizona home to advocate for better wages and benefits for Walmart workers.

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Protesters at a Walmart in Boynton Beach, Florida. J Pat Carter/Associated Press

Rob also has a large collection of vintage cars.

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Walton’s personal collection not pictured. Ben Pruchnie/Getty Images

In 2013, he ran his Daytona Coupe, which was worth $US15 million at the time, off the tracks and wrecked it. The car was one of only five ever made.

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The car was totalled in the crash. AP Photo/Tom Mihalek

John was the second-oldest child. He died in a plane crash in 2005.

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John (right) with his mother (centre) and brother, Rob (left). April L. Brown/Associated Press

He was married to Christy Walton and had one son, Lukas.

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Lukas is now 34-years-old. Walton Family Foundation/YouTube

John left about 17% of his wealth to his wife, and he gave the rest to charity and to his son.

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John was very charitable. AP

Source: Business Insider


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.

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John (second from left) pictured with members of his family. AP Photo/Spencer Tirey

Source: Fortune


In 2013, Christy decided to sell their Jackson Hole mansion. She also listed the family’s ranch, which includes its own elk herd, for $US68.7 million — it’s now listed for $US39 million.

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The family’s Jackson Hole mansion. Jackson Hole Real Estate

Source: Curbed and Ranch Marketing Associates


The 8,606-square-foot home was put on the market for $US12.5 million.

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An aerial view of the mansion. Google Maps

Source: Curbed


James “Jim” Walton is the youngest son.

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Jim Walton is now 71-years-old. Walmart

He is chairman of the board of the family’s Arvest Bank, which has assets that total more than $US18 billion and is estimated to be worth $US45.3 billion.

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One of many Arvest Bank locations in Bentonville, Arkansas. Google Maps

Source: Bloomberg


He also served on the Walmart board before being replaced by his son Steuart in 2016.

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Jim served on the board for more than a decade. Rick T. Wilking /Stringer/Getty

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.

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Jim now manages the family’s finances. Google Maps

Source: Fortune


The youngest sibling, Alice Walton, is worth $US44.4 billion. She has been divorced twice and has no children.

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Alice is passionate about collecting art. AP/April L. Brown

Alice has never taken an active role in running the family business.

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Alice Walton (Jim out of focus). REUTERS/Rick Wilking

Instead, she became a patron of the arts, which she fell in love with at a young age.

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Alice followed her passion and devoted her life to collecting art. D Dipasupil/Getty Images

When she was 10, she bought her first work of art: a reproduction of Picasso’s “Blue Nude” for about $US2, she told The New Yorker.

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Picasso’s ‘The Blue Room.’ Evan Vucci/Associated Press

Source: The New Yorker


She has an immense private art collection, with original works from Andy Warhol and Georgia O’Keeffe.

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Alice has built a massive collection. AP Images/Kirsty Wigglesworth

Alice opened a museum called Crystal Bridges in 2011 to house her $US500 million private art collection.

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The museum displays both paintings and sculptures, like this one by Alexander Calder (centre). Danny Johnston/Associated Press

The collection includes a Georgia O’Keeffe painting she spent $US44.4 million on in 2014 — the biggest sale for a woman’s piece of art in history.

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Georgia O’Keeffe, ‘Jimson Weed/White Flower No. 1’ (1932), Sotheby’s. Courtesy of Sotheby’s

Source: The Observer


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

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A view of the Whitney Museum from the High Line. Eduardo Munoz/Reuters

The museum’s grounds are filled with flora …

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The lucious gardens outside the museum. Danny Johnston/Associated Press

… and surrounded by streams that make it look like the buildings float on water.

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The serene setting of the museum. Jacob Slaton/Reuters

It’s so beautiful that people use it as a wedding and special events venue.

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They can host both indoor and outdoor ceremonies. Weddings at Crystal Bridges/YouTube

Source: Crystal Bridges


Alice is also a breeder of horses.

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Besides art, she loves spending time with horses. Associated Press

Her Millsap, Texas, property, Rocking W Ranch, sold to the Three Amigos Investment Group of Kermit in September 2017 for an undisclosed amount.

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Her property was elegantly decorated. Courtesy of WilliamsTrew

Source: Star-Telegram


It had an initial asking price of $US19.75 million, but was most recently listed for $US16.5 million. The working ranch has over 250 acres of pasture and outbuildings for cattle and horses.

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It was also next to a large lake. Courtesy of WilliamsTrew

Source: WilliamsTrew


Her other 4,416-acre Texas ranch was previously listed at a reduced price of $US22 million.

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A huge firepit was built in the backyard. Courtesy of WilliamsTrew

Source: Fortune


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

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A sunset near Brazos River. Dave Mosher/Business Insider

Alice also owns a two-floor condo on New York’s Park Ave., which she bought for $US25 million in 2014.

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Park Avenue pictured above at night. Getty Images/Arata Photography

Source: Business Insider


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.

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View of Central Park from the southeast. evenfh/Shutterstock

Source: Business Insider


In January 2016, Alice donated 3.7 million of her Walmart shares — worth about $US225 million at the time — to the family’s nonprofit, the Walton Family Foundation.

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The Walton Family Foundation website. Facebook/Walton Family Foundation

Sam and Helen started the foundation as a way to teach their children how to give back and how to work together.

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The children learned from an early age to be generous with their money. Walton Family Foundation/YouTube

The charity awarded $US535.5 million in grants, each helping a cause that aligns with their values.

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Alice Walton. Walton Family Foundation/YouTube

The foundation has three main areas of focus:

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A project put on by the Walton Family Foundation. Walton Family Foundation/YouTube

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.

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The foundation was dedicated to supporting children’s education. Walton Family Foundation/YouTube

Source: Walton Family Foundation


Rob spearheaded the foundation’s venture into environmental outreach. One of the first grants they gave was one that helped develop a sustainable fisheries label.

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Rob launched the environmental and sustainability branch of the foundation. Walton Family Foundation/YouTube

Source: Walton Family Foundation


A commitment to the family’s home in Arkansas is another large part of the foundation. Whether it’s creating a system of mountain-bike trails through the Ozarks or developing the grounds around Crystal Bridges, the Waltons are celebrating the community that helped their family get to where they are.

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The Bentonville town square. Walton Family Foundation/YouTube

Source: Walton Family Foundation


Walmart Inc., which owns Walmart and Sam’s Club, is the largest retailer in the US in terms of revenue, with sales of $US500.34 billion per year.

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The storefront of a Walmart. Business Insider/Jessica Tyler

Source: Fortune


When Walmart has a good quarter, the Waltons make hundreds of millions of dollars in dividends.

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The siblings all together. AP/April L. Brown

Source: Forbes and The Guardian


The company reported in February 2019 that same-store sales in the US up 3.6% for fiscal 2019.

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Shoppers leaving Walmart with lots of gifts. AP/Gunnar Rathbun

Source: Walmart


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.

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The infamous Walmart store. JULIO CESAR AGUILAR/AFP via Getty Images

Source: Fortune