Photo: Walmart / CC BY (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)
Full Name: Alice Louise Walton
Born: October 7, 1949 (age 71)
Born Place: Newport, Arkansas, U.S.
Education: Trinity University
Known for: Heiress, Walton family fortune
Net worth: Decrease US$ 58.9 billion (As of 25 March 2021)
Board member of: Amon Carter Museum
Sam Walton (father)
Helen Walton (mother)
Rob Walton (brother)
John Walton (brother)
Jim Walton (brother)
Alice Louise Walton (born October 7, 1949) is an American heiress to the fortune of Walmart. In September 2016, she owned over US$11 billion in Walmart shares. As of February 2021, Walton has a net worth of $68 billion, making her the 17th-richest person, and the second richest woman in the World.
Walton was born in Newport, Arkansas. She was raised along with her three brothers in Bentonville, Arkansas and graduated from Bentonville High School in 1966. She graduated from Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas, with a B.A. in economics.
Early in her career, Walton was an equity analyst and money manager for First Commerce Corporation and headed investment activities at Arvest Bank Group. She was also a broker for EF Hutton. In 1988, Walton founded Llama Company, an investment bank, where she was president, chairwoman and CEO.
Walton was the first person to chair the Northwest Arkansas Council and played a major role in the development of the Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport, which opened in 1998. At the time, the business and civic leaders of Northwest Arkansas Council found a need for the $109 million regional airport in their corner of the state. Walton provided $15 million in initial funding for construction. Her company, Llama Company, underwrote a $79.5 million bond. The Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport Authority recognized Walton’s contributions to the creation of the airport and named the terminal the Alice L. Walton Terminal Building. She was inducted into the Arkansas Aviation Hall of Fame in 2001.
In the late 1990s, Llama Co. closed, and in 1998, Walton moved to a ranch in Millsap, Texas, named Walton’s Rocking W Ranch. An avid horse-lover, she was known for having an eye for determining which 2-month-olds would grow to be champion cutters. Walton listed the farm for sale in 2015 and moved to Fort Worth, Texas, citing the need to focus on the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, the Bentonville, Arkansas, art museum she founded that opened in 2011.
In his 1992 autobiography Made in America, Sam Walton remarked that Alice was “the most like me—a maverick—but even more volatile than I am.”
Walton married a prominent Louisiana investment banker in 1974 at age 24, but they were divorced 2½ years later. According to Forbes, she married “the contractor who built her swimming pool” soon after, “but they, too, divorced quickly”.
Walton has been involved in multiple automobile accidents, one of them fatal. She lost control of a rented Jeep during a 1983 Thanksgiving family reunion near Acapulco and plunged into a ravine, shattering her leg. She was airlifted out of Mexico and underwent more than two dozen surgeries; she suffers lingering pain from her injuries. In April 1989, she struck and killed 50 year-old Oleta Hardin, who had stepped onto a road in Fayetteville, Arkansas. Witnesses stated that Walton was speeding at the time, but no charges were filed. In 1998, she hit a gas meter while driving under the influence of alcohol. She paid a $925 fine.