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Inspiring Biographies

Sam Walton Inspiring Biography: Founder of Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club

“Celebrate your success and find humor in your failures. Don’t take yourself so seriously. Loosen up and everyone around you will loosen up. Have fun and always show enthusiasm. When all else fails, put on a costume and sing a silly song.”

Sam Walton was born on 29th March 1918 inOklahoma,USA. His parents lived on a farm and practiced agriculture until 1923. Then the father decided to move out to a little town and continue his mortgage job because he wasn’t able to fulfill his needs as a farmer. Its in a small town ofMissouri that Sam Walton joined his high school’s scout to become the youngest Eagle scout in the history of the state. In later part of his life, he was honored with the Distinguished Eagle Scouts Award by the Boy Scouts of America.

Sam was very active and competitive in sports such as basketball and football for which he played for his school. To help make more income for family, he was distributing newspapers and even worked as waiter in exchange for food. At the same time, he was hoping for a brighter future to help his family as soon as he graduates fromUniversityofMissouriwere he earned a degree in Economics. Upon graduation, he went to work for JCPenney inIowaas a management trainee. He quit in 1942 anticipating he’ll be drafted into the World War II.  Sam moved toTulsa,Oklahomaand met a young lady fresh from university by the name of Helen Robson. She was a business woman and daughter of an affluent banker. Soon after, Sam was drafter into the army to work for US Intelligence Corp where he did so well and was promoted to rank of Captain.

When he left, his father in law with motivation from his wife – Robson gave him $20,000 loan and he added it to his $5,000 he had earned during his military service. He bought a variety store and was doing well due to his calculated discount method and a great location. Gradually, he moved on to open more stores by the name of Ben Franklin in states ofArkansas,MissouriandKansas. He and his brother Bud did well and reached 16 stores by 1962 with the help of his in-laws.


It is then that Sam Walton realized he could actually lead in this industry if he only persisted. So in 1962, he opened the first Wal-Mart inRogers,Arkansas. As Sam puts it, he thinks he’s being to more stores than anyone in the US because his mission was to take the best ideas from every store and include it in Wal-Mart. Their slogan was “The Lowest Prices. Guaranteed!” He used different strategies to motivate his workers to sell more by giving them a share in the company. More money company made, the more money workers also made. Sam was actually one of the first CEO’s worldwide to implement this strategy successfully. And he was sure about one thing to create success for all and that is seeing in his statement – : There is only one boss. The customer. And he can fire everybody in the company from the chairman on down, simply by spending his money somewhere else.”

By 1985-1988, Forbes named Sam Walton as the richest man in theUS. Before he died in 1992, he had also created Sam’s Club which together with Wal-Mart Incorporated made fortune for him and his children: Rob, John, Jim and Alice Walton who ranked top 10 richest people in Forbes until 2005.

Now a man who started from one store to the next, left a great legacy by not changing only the way American people shop but now countries enjoying this same privilege areCanada,Mexico,Argentina,Puerto Rico,Brazil,United KingdomandChina. Today, Wal-Mart’s decision can affect theUSeconomy as they are one the major importers of goods in theUSfromChina. Sam’s model continues to be successful worldwide.





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