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SamWalton-1936

Walton in his high school yearbook photo

Sam Walton (March 29, 1918 – April 5, 1992) was the founder of Walmart and Sam's Club.

Early Life Edit

Samuel Moore Walton was born in Kingfisher, Oklahoma on March 29, 1918. He lived with his parents on the farm until 1923. He became a recipient of the Distinguished Eagle Scout Award in the Boy Scouts.

Eventually, he and his family moved to Columbia, Missouri. Growing up during the Great Depression, he did chores to help make end loans to meet his family's demands. Afterwards, he would deliver Columbia Daily Tribune newspapers and magazine subscriptions.

At the time of graduating from David H. Hickman High School, he was voted "Most Versatile Boy." After high school, Walton attended college at the University of Missouri. He graduated in 1940, with a bachelor's degree in economics and was appointed permanent president of his class.

The first storesEdit

After leaving the military in 1945, Walton took over management of his first variety store at the age of 26. With the help of a $20,000 loan from his father-in-law, plus $5,000 he had saved from his time in the Army, Walton purchased a Ben Franklin variety store in Newport, Arkansas.

His second store, the tiny "Eagle" department store, was down the street from his first Ben Franklin. With a year left on the lease, but the store effectively sold, he, his wife Helen and his father-in-law managed to arrange the purchase of a new location on the downtown square of Bentonville, Arkansas.

Walton managed the purchase of a small discount store, and the title to the building, on the condition that he get a 99-year lease to expand into the shop next door. The owner of the shop next door refused six times, and Walton gave up on Bentonville when his father-in-law, without Sam's knowledge, paid the shop owner a final visit and $20,000 to secure the lease. They opened for business with a one-day remodeling sale on May 9, 1950.