S. Robson Walton

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

S. Robson "Rob" Walton
Walton in 2017
Born (1944-10-27) October 27, 1944 (age 79)[1]
EducationUniversity of Arkansas
Columbia Law School
Known forWalton family fortune
TitleFormer chairman of Walmart (1992–2015)
Board member ofWalmart, Denver Broncos
  • Carolyn Funk
Melani Lowman
(m. 2005)
Children3 (Carrie Walton Penner)
RelativesJohn T. Walton (brother)
Jim Walton (brother)
Alice Walton (sister)
Kelly Rohrbach (daughter-in-law)

Samuel Robson "Rob" Walton (born October 27, 1944) is an American billionaire heir to the fortune of Walmart, the world's largest retailer. He is the eldest son of Helen Walton and Sam Walton, and was chairman of Walmart from 1992 to 2015. As of November 2023, Walton had an estimated net worth of US$72 billion, making him the 16th richest person in the world.[2] He is also the principal owner of the Denver Broncos.[3][4]

Early life and family[edit]

Walton in 2011

Rob Walton was born on October 27, 1944,[1] in Tulsa, Oklahoma, the oldest of four children of Sam Walton (1918–1992), cofounder of Walmart, and Helen Walton (1919–2007). He has a younger brother, Jim Walton, and a younger sister, Alice Walton. Another brother, John Walton, died in 2005.[5][6][7]

Walton attended The College of Wooster and graduated from the University of Arkansas in 1966 with a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration, where he was a member of the Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity. He received his juris doctor degree from Columbia Law School in 1969. Walton is also a trustee at The College of Wooster.[8][7]

After graduation, Walton became a member of the law firm that represented Walmart, Conner & Winters in Tulsa, Oklahoma.[8] In 1978, he left Tulsa to join Walmart as a senior vice president,[8] and in 1982, he was appointed vice chairman.[9] He was named chairman of the board of directors on April 7, 1992, two days after his father's death.[10]

Along with his siblings, he has pledged about $2 billion to the Walton Family Foundation from 2008 to 2013.[6]

On June 7, 2022, an ownership group led by Walton entered into an agreement to purchase the Denver Broncos from the estate of Pat Bowlen for $4.65 billion, which set the record for the most expensive sale of a sports franchise in history, subject to approval from the NFL's finance committee and a 3/4 majority of the full NFL ownership group.[11][12] Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was announced as added to the ownership group on July 11, 2022.[13] The family then announced on August 2, 2022, that Lewis Hamilton would be added to the ownership group.[14] Walton delegated most day-to-day authority to his son-in-law, Walmart chairman Greg Penner, who took over as CEO of the franchise and the public face of the ownership group.[15]

Personal life[edit]

By the time he left Tulsa in 1978, Walton had three children, was divorced from his first wife, and had remarried to Carolyn Funk. He and Carolyn filed for divorce in 2000. He married his third wife Melani Lowman-Walton in 2005.[9][16][17] His children include Carrie Walton Penner.

In 2022, due to a decline in Wal-Mart's share price, Rob and his siblings lost more than $27 billion.[18]

Walton is a well-known collector of automobiles.[19]


  1. ^ a b Basquez, Anna Maria (April 14, 2022). "Who Is Rob Walton, The Billionaire Who Reportedly Plans To Put In A Bid For The Denver Broncos?". CBS News. Retrieved March 7, 2023.
  2. ^ "Bloomberg Billionaires Index: Rob Walton". Bloomberg. Retrieved November 5, 2023.
  3. ^ Around the NFL staff (August 9, 2022). "NFL owners approve Walton-Penner group's purchase of Denver Broncos franchise". NFL.com. Retrieved October 4, 2022.
  4. ^ O'Halloran, Ryan (August 9, 2022). "Broncos officially in new hands with approval of Walton as owner". DenverPost.com. Retrieved October 4, 2022.
  5. ^ "S Robson Walton". Forbes. September 2013. Retrieved December 25, 2013.
  6. ^ a b "2013's Top 20 Billionaires". Forbes. 2013. Archived from the original on March 10, 2013. Retrieved December 25, 2013.
  7. ^ a b "The World's Billionaires #26 S Robson Walton". Forbes. May 3, 2008. Retrieved December 25, 2013.
  8. ^ a b c Serwer, Andy (November 15, 2004). "The Waltons: Inside America's Richest Family". Fortune. Retrieved February 20, 2011.
  9. ^ a b Ortega, Bob (October 20, 1998). In Sam We Trust. Times Business/Random House. pp. 413. ISBN 0-8129-6377-6.
  10. ^ Thomas C. Hayes (April 7, 1992). "Wal-Mart's Leadership Remains in the Family". The New York Times.
  11. ^ "Broncos and Walton-Penner family enter into a purchase and sale agreement". DenverBroncos.com (Press release). June 7, 2022. Retrieved June 8, 2022.
  12. ^ "Denver Broncos sold to Walmart heir Rob Walton". TheDenverChannel.com. June 7, 2022. Retrieved June 8, 2022.
  13. ^ "Condoleezza Rice added to Denver Broncos ownership group". Axios. July 11, 2022. Retrieved July 11, 2022.
  14. ^ "Statement from Rob Walton on behalf of the Walton-Penner Family Ownership Group". DenverBroncos.com (Press release). August 2, 2022. Retrieved August 2, 2022.
  15. ^ DiLalla, Aric (August 10, 2022). "New Broncos Owner & CEO Greg Penner outlines key requirements for winning organization". DenverBroncos.com. Retrieved August 14, 2022.
  17. ^ "Billionaire Divorce. (Wal-Mart Stores Inc. Carolyn Walton, Robson Walton)". Entrepreneur. October 16, 2000.
  18. ^ Mitchell Van Homrigh, World’s richest family loses $27 billion May 18, 2022
  19. ^ "Rob Walton: Zero for the Family Foundation but Millions for Vintage Sports Cars". changewalmart.org. June 3, 2014. Archived from the original on September 27, 2018. Retrieved May 5, 2021.

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