Samuel Moore Walton

Class of
Samuel Moore Walton

Samuel Moore Walton

“[Sam Walton was] an American original who embodied the entrepreneurial spirit and epitomized the American Dream.”
George H. W. Bush


Oklahoma native and legendary leader of the Wal-Mart national discount store chain, Sam Walton graduated with a degree in economics from the University of Missouri in 1940 and became a management trainee at the J. C. Penney Company in Iowa. He lived in Tulsa and Claremore, Oklahoma, before settling in Newport, Arkansas, where he opened a five-and-dime store in 1945. He lost his lease and re-opened the store on the town square in Bentonville, Arkansas, in 1950. After expanding to 16 stores he opened his first discount store, and by 1970, 30 Wal-Marts were in operation. Today thousands of stores, as well as Sam’s Wholesale Clubs, are scattered around the nation.

The Walton family has established college scholarship funds and emergency relief funds for employees, and contributes to small-town day care centers and senior citizen recreation halls. Walton was awarded as Outstanding Chief Executive Officer in the U.S. and was also given the Horatio Alger Award.

Fun fact

Early on, Sam Walton and Wal-Mart decided to sell 23-cent moon pies for 20 cents and sold a half-million in only one week.

Oklahoma connections

Walton was born in Kingfisher, Oklahoma.









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