June 28, 2005 by

John T. Walton


Categories: Business, Education, Military

John Thomas Walton, an heir to the Wal-Mart fortune and one of the wealthiest men in America, died on June 27 in a plane crash. He was 58.
Walton had just taken off from Jackson Hole Airport in Wyoming on Monday afternoon when his homemade, ultralight aircraft crashed in Grand Teton National Park. He was the sole occupant of the plane, which weighed an estimated 400 to 500 pounds and ran on a small, gasoline-powered engine. Cause of the accident is under investigation.
The Arkansas native dropped out of The College of Wooster in Ohio, then served with the Green Berets as a medic in Vietnam. There he earned the Silver Star for saving the lives of several members of his unit while under enemy fire. When Walton returned to the states, he opted to have minimal involvement with the family business. Instead, he started a crop-dusting company in Texas and Arizona and a boat-building business in California.
Walton’s father was Sam Walton, who founded Wal-Mart and turned it into one of the biggest companies in the world. In March, John Walton and his younger brother Jim tied for No. 11 on the Forbes magazine list of the world’s richest people. (Spot No. 10 belongs to John’s older brother Rob, the chairman of Wal-Mart.) The sixth richest man in America, John Walton had a net worth of approximately $18.2 billion.
Through inheritance, Walton became a major stakeholder in Wal-Mart. He owned about 12 million shares of the company’s stock and shared ownership of about 1.7 billion shares with his family in a joint partnership called Walton Enterprises. Walton joined the board of Wal-Mart Stores Inc., in 1992, and sat on the company committee that reviews Wal-Mart’s finances and oversees long-range planning, but was not considered to be a potential successor to his brother.
Although he was a successful businessman in his own right, Walton’s passion was philanthropy, particularly in the area of education. In 1998, he and Wall Street buyout artist Ted Forstmann co-founded the Children’s Scholarship Fund. To date, the fund has provided tuition assistance to more than 67,000 low-income families that want to send their kids to private schools. In his spare time, Walton loved to fly. He also enjoyed skydiving, scuba diving and riding motorcycles.

4 Responses to John T. Walton

  1. lawyer

    John Thomas Walton membership ensign No:991003004 was a registered player in our online underground game.
    Although he did not play the game very often and his role playing character was often played by his nominated proxy – brother darkness aka man of all seasons aka Kafka.
    He was none the less a great brother who embodied the spirit of adventure and rugged individualism.
    Brother Walton also funded the construction of a virtual library simply called the “Walton Center” located in Liberation Square in Primus.
    By order of the Council of the Wise under order 496767. Annex 16, his name will be immortalized in a roll of honor tablet in Liberation Square.
    He will be greatly missed by all of us in the Pan Pacific Chapters.
    Long live the brotherhood!

  2. antonio calafiore

    Vi scrivo perchè so che il defunto sig. John T. Walton era un filantropo.
    Non scrivo per me, ma per due children di 7 e8 anni che vivono in bielorussia (belarus).
    La madre molto giovane (Tania), ha lavorato pe 5 anni in italia per poterli mantenere, ora deve ritornare al suo paese e non sa se potrà mantenerli.
    Chiedo in nome di quello che di buono c’è in ogni uomo di passaggio su questa terra di far arrivare alla famiglia Walton questa richiesta di aiuto.
    Se avete bisogno di informazioni più precise per poter verificare la verità di questo messaggio sono a vostra disposizione.
    Un saluto
    Antonio Calafiore
    Galliera – Bologna- Italy

  3. joe pelayo

    22 years ago I met a man called john, when I met him he was wearing a pear of jeans, T shirt, and a pair of Zippos tennis shoes, held tougheter whit hot melt. Little did I know that this man whas going to become my mentor, and friend and that he was going to have a big role in the way mi life was going to turn out. He tought me to believe in people, teamwork, honor,dedication, friendship, pride of work, respect, in all a lot of the values that are lost in todays society. I use these powerfull tools, and I try to teach these principals to my team. Thank you john for helping me become a better person, father, friend.
    Joe Pelayo Corsair marines fiberglass supervisor.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *