Back to
Top

A Time to Remember

An Extraordinary Life

Samuel Moore Walton died on April 5, 1992, just weeks after he had received the Presidential Medal of Freedom. His life, as the citation said, “epitomized the American dream.” From his youth in the rural Midwest to his founding of one of the most successful companies in the world, Sam Walton remained true to his roots. For Walmart associates especially, “Mr. Sam” was indeed a good friend, one who believed that ordinary people, working together, could do extraordinary things. He never lost his enthusiasm for doing what he enjoyed most: visiting with his beloved associates at Walmart stores all over the country.



News of Sam’s passing filled the front page of the Benton County Daily Record.

  Click and hold to zoom in
  Click and hold to zoom in
  Click and hold to zoom in
  Click and hold to zoom in
   

One of Sam Walton’s last messages. He thanks his associates for their “love and friendship”.

One of Sam Walton’s last messages.

A “to do” list, dated July 7, 1990, sets out a vision for the future, including international expansion into Mexico.

Arkansas Business celebrates Sam Walton’s legacy.

  Click and hold to zoom in
Sam revolutionized the business with practices that wouldn’t gain formal names for years. Fortune Magazine highlighted some of those ideas.
  Click and hold to zoom in
  Click and hold to zoom in
  Click and hold to zoom in
  Click and hold to zoom in
  Click and hold to zoom in
  Click and hold to zoom in
  Click and hold to zoom in
  Click and hold to zoom in
  Click and hold to zoom in
  Click and hold to zoom in
  Click and hold to zoom in
  Click and hold to zoom in
   

Walmart World says goodbye to Sam.

Walmart World says goodbye to Sam.

Walmart World says goodbye to Sam.

Walmart World says goodbye to Sam.

Walmart World says goodbye to Sam.

Walmart World says goodbye to Sam.

Walmart World says goodbye to Sam.

Walmart World says goodbye to Sam.

Walmart World says goodbye to Sam.

The program for Sam’s funeral. He was deeply patriotic, and there was no one else like him.

The program for Sam’s funeral. He was deeply patriotic, and there was no one else like him.

The program for Sam’s funeral. He was deeply patriotic, and there was no one else like him.

Sam and Bud on a hunting trip.

James Lawrence “Bud” Walton

“Bud” Walton, Sam Walton’s younger brother, was one of a kind. As co-founder of Walmart, “Mr. Bud” was his brother’s closest confidant. Together they navigated the uncharted future of discount retailing. As a senior vice president, Bud focused on real estate and expanding the number of stores, which at the time of his death (March 21, 1995) numbered more than 2,600. Bud had a gift for making people feel special. He could magically be a boss, leader, and good friend, all at the same time. He was an unassuming man whose generosity touched thousands of lives. The Bud Walton Arena at the University of Arkansas, is named in his honor.

News of Bud’s passing was marked by his love of fishing and basketball.

Bud Walton loved Razorback basketball. Here he’s pictured with Athletic Director Frank Broyles, head coach Nolan Richardson, and players in front of his namesake arena.

Helen, the “first lady of Walmart,” working at her desk.

Helen Robson Walton

Helen Walton spent her life sharing her time and resources with others. “Being married to a man with initiative means you’re going to be making new trails,” she once said. From the early days, she was involved in helping Sam build his retail business. He considered her one of his best advisers. As a young mother, she cared for their children and volunteered for the PTA, Girl Scouts, and community groups. Later, she organized and funded programs for preschool education and child care, established scholarships, and contributed to higher education and the arts. A generous and dedicated philanthropist, she described her work as a “volunteer to community, state, and nation.” Helen Walton passed away on April 19, 2007.

Sam and Helen enjoying the outdoors.

I would like to be remembered as a good friend ... That’s important. I have such a strong feeling for the folks in our company. They have meant so much to me.
Sam Walton