Sam Walton was born near Kingfisher, Oklahoma on March 29, 1918 . In 8th grade, Sam became the youngest Eagle Scout in the Missouri's history.
Walton graduated from the University of Missouri and immediately joined JCPenney as a management trainee in Des Moines, Iowa. The position earned him $75.00 a month. He resigned from this position in 1942 in anticipation of being inducted into the military for service in World War II. In the meantime, he worked at a DuPont munitions plant near Tulsa, Oklahoma. There he met his future wife, Helen Robson, in April 1942. She and Sam were married February 14, 1943. Soon afterwards, Walton joined the military in the US Army Intelligence Corps, supervising security at aircraft plants and prisoner of war camps. In this position he served in the continental United States. He eventually reached the rank of captain.
With some help from his father-in-law with a loan of $20,000, plus $5,000 he had saved from his time in the Army, Walton purchased a store in Newport, Arkansas in 1945.
Walton went on to move his store to Bentonville, Arkansas and then found another store in Fayetteville, Arkansas, about 20 miles south of Bentonville. This store shared the same name as the store in Bentonville, but was not a member of the Ben Franklin chain. It went on to become as successful as the original 5 & 10.
Over time, Walton went on to open more stores with the help of his brother, father-in-law, and brother-in-law. In 1954, he opened a store with his brother in a shopping center in Ruskin Heights, Kansas. He opened another in Arkansas, but it failed to be as successful as his other stores. Walton decided to concentrate on retail business instead of the shopping centers and opened larger stores which were called Walton's Family Center.
The first true Wal-Mart opened in 1962 in Rogers, Arkansas. Wal-Mart eventually became the world's largest retailer.
Sam Walton died April 5, 1992.
Information Gathered from Sam Walton at Wikipedia.
Also see quotes by Michael Eisner