Helen Walton

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Helen Walton
HelenWalton.jpg
Born Helen Robson Kemper
(1919-12-03)December 3, 1919
Claremore, Oklahoma, U.S.
Died April 19, 2007(2007-04-19) (aged 87)
Bentonville, Arkansas, U.S.
Alma mater University of Oklahoma
Known for Walton family fortune
Net worth Increase US $17.4 billion (est.)
(March 2007)[1]
Spouse(s) Sam Walton (1943–1992, his death)

Helen Robson Kemper Walton (December 3, 1919 – April 19, 2007) was the wife of Wal-Mart and Sam's Club founder Sam Walton. At one point in her life, she was the richest American and the eleventh richest woman in the world.

Early life[edit]

Helen was the valedictorian of her high school class in Claremore, Oklahoma and a graduate of the University of Oklahoma at Norman with a degree in business. She was the daughter of L.S. Robson, a prosperous rancher. She married Sam Walton on Valentine's Day, February 14, 1943.

Helen and Sam Walton had four children: sons Samuel Robson (Rob) (born 1944), John Thomas (1946-2005), James Carr (Jim) (born 1948), and daughter Alice Louise (born 1949).[2]

Wealth[edit]

When Sam Walton died in 1992, he left his ownership in Wal-Mart to Helen and their four children. Rob Walton chairs the board of directors of Wal-Mart, on which John served until his death. The others are not directly involved in the company except through their voting power as shareholders.

Later Life & Death[edit]

In the last eight years of her life, Helen suffered from dementia but gained peace painting watercolors. “They’re abstract but just lyrical and beautiful,” said her daughter Alice in an October 2013 interview with Forbes. “I have two. One’s very happy and…oh, whimsical, I guess you would say. Then there’s one she did right before she died. I mean, you could almost tell. She knew.” [3]

She died of heart failure on April 19, 2007. At the time of her death, she had an estimated net worth of $16.4 billion. Ms. Walton was survived by her brother, Frank Robson; three children, S. Robson Walton, Jim C. Walton, and Alice L. Walton; eight grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren. [4]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "The World's Billionaires (2007): #29 Helen Walton". Forbes. March 8, 2007. Retrieved February 20, 2011. 
  2. ^ Richard S. Tedlow, Sam Walton: Great From the Start (July 23, 2001), Harvard Business School.
  3. ^ O'Connor, Clare (October 7, 2013), Inside The World Of Walmart Billionaire Alice Walton, America's Richest Art Collector, Forbes 
  4. ^ Porter, Eduardo (21 April 2007). "Helen Walton, Matriarch of Wal-Mart Family, Dies at 87". The New York Times. Retrieved 27 December 2010.