Sam Walton life and biography

Sam Walton picture, image, poster

Sam Walton biography

Date of birth : 1918-03-29
Date of death : 1992-04-05
Birthplace : Kingfisher, Oklahoma
Nationality : American
Category : Famous Figures
Last modified : 2011-06-23
Credited as : Businessman and entrepreneur, Wal-Mart and Sam's Club,

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Sam Walton was a businessman and entrepreneur born in Kingfisher, Oklahoma best known for founding the retailers Wal-Mart and Sam's Club.

Sam Walton, with his brother Bud Walton, founded Wal-Mart, the chain of discount variety stores that in the 1990s became the world's largest retailer. Sam Walton went into the retail business in 1945, and by the time Wal-Mart first opened in 1962 he owned a chain of 15 variety stores in Arkansas, Missouri and Oklahoma. Walton's savvy marketing skills and attention to detail led to Wal-Mart's expansion throughout the United States. By 1990 Wal-Mart was the nation's top retailer in terms of sales, and Walton was one of the richest men in the world. After his death in 1992 the company continued to expand, including online commerce and stores around the world. By 2001 there were more than 4,500 Wal-Mart stores worldwide.

Since Walton's death the chain has come under fire for its labor practices and aggressive marketing tactics. Arguing that Wal-Marts drove out other merchants, many local communities fought to keep new stores from opening, and in June of 2004 a lawsuit was filed on behalf of 1.6 million women, charging that Wal-Mart discriminated against female employees.

Forbes ranked Sam Walton as the richest man in the United States from 1982 to 1988, ceding the top spot to John Kluge in 1989 when the editors began to credit Walton's fortune jointly to him and his four children. (Bill Gates first headed the list in 1992, the year Walton died). Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. also runs Sam's Club warehouse stores. Walmart operates in the U.S. and in 15 international markets, including Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, India, Japan, Mexico, Nicaragua, Puerto Rico and the United Kingdom.

At the University of Arkansas, the Business College (Sam M. Walton College of Business) is named in his honor.

Mr. Walton was inducted into the Junior Achievement U.S. Business Hall of Fame in 1992.

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