Samuel Robson Walton (born October 28, 1944) is an American billionaire heir to Walmart’s fortune. He is the eldest son of Helen and Sam Walton and served as Walmart’s chairman from 1992 until 2015.
Walton had an estimated net worth of $57.5 billion, making him the world’s 18th richest person. He also owns the Denver Broncos of the National Football League.
Childhood and Family of Rob Walton
Rob Walton was born on October 28, 1944, in Tulsa, Oklahoma, the oldest of four children of Walmart co-founder Sam Walton (1918-1992) and Helen Walton (1919–2007). Jim Walton is his younger brother, while Alice Walton is his younger sister. John Walton, another brother, died in 2005.
Walton attended The College of Wooster and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration from the University of Arkansas in 1966, where he was a member of the Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity. In 1969, he graduated from Columbia Law School with a Juris doctorate. Walton also serves on the board of trustees at The College of Wooster.
After graduation, Walton joined the law firm that represented Walmart, Conner & Winters, in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He left Tulsa in 1978 to join Walmart as a senior vice president, and in 1982, he was named vice chairman. On April 7, 1992, two days following his father’s death, he was named chairman of the board of directors.
From 2008 through 2013, he and his siblings gave about $2 billion to the Walton Family Foundation. On June 7, 2022, an ownership group led by Walton agreed to buy the Denver Broncos from the estate of Pat Bowlen for $4.65 billion, setting a record for the most expensive sale of a sports franchise in history, subject to approval from the NFL’s finance committee and a 3/4 majority of the entire NFL ownership group.
On July 11, 2022, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice announced joining the ownership group. On August 2, 2022, the family announced that Sir Lewis Hamilton would be added to the ownership group.
The Career of Rob Walton
After earning his law degree, Rob Walton was hired by Conner & Winters, the law firm that represented Walmart. After several years of legal practice, Rob departed Conner & Winters to become Walmart’s senior vice president. He was named to the board of directors in 1982. Rob succeeded his father as chairman two days after his father died in 1992. Walton held this role until his retirement in 2015.
The Denver Broncos
The Bowlen Trust (named after former team owner Pat Bowlen) announced on June 6, 2022, that it had struck an agreement to sell the Denver Broncos to Rob Walton for $4.5 billion. The trust’s beneficiaries are Pat Bowlen’s seven surviving children.
Personal Sphere of Rob Walton
Walton had three children, a divorce from his first wife, and a second marriage to Carolyn Funk when he left Tulsa in 1978. In 2000, he and Carolyn filed for divorce. In 2005, he wed his third wife, Melani Lowman-Walton.
Among his offspring is Carrie Walton Penner. Rob and his siblings lost more than $27 billion in 2022 due to the decrease in Wal-stock Mart’s price.
Rob divorced his first wife after having three children with her and remarried Carolyn Funk. Funk and Walton separated in 2000, and Walton married Melani, his third wife, in 2005. Carrie Walton Penner is arguably his most notable child.
Wealth Details of Rob Walton
Through the Walton Family Holdings Trust and Walton Enterprises, Rob Walton has a 13% share in Walmart. He also holds a 25.5 percent ownership in Arvest Bank, the largest bank in Arkansas. Walton had an estimated net worth of $57.9 billion as per Entrepreneur.
This ownership position is valued at approximately $1.6 billion. Since 1992, Walton has generated around $11 billion from stock sales and dividends. Alice and Jim Walton, his siblings, are also beneficiaries of Walton Enterprises.
Rob Walton is notoriously secretive about his personal life and wants to avoid the spotlight. However, Rob is renowned for his collection of classic sports automobiles. According to rumors, Walton possesses a Ferrari 250 GTO valued between $35 million and $52 million. Additionally, he owns a 1965 Shelby Cobra valued at approximately $820,000.
The market value of his Ferrari 250 LM is $14.6 million, while his Ferrari 250 GT SWB is approximately $4.1 million. Rob is also known to have purchased a Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa for $12.1 million. This model is valued at roughly $40 million on the open market. 1960 Maserati T60 and 1958 Scarab MKI are two further essential additions to his collection.
When Rob paid $12,1 million for his Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa at an auction, he set a new record for the most expensive car ever sold. Unfortunately, he purchased it overseas, which proved to be somewhat problematic. U.S. Customs was determined to charge Walton the standard, routine import fee of 2.5%.
Rob’s attorneys attempted to secure duty-free status for the car by alleging that it was a collectible. Rob had to pay an import fee of $303,000 on his prized Testa Rossa because U.S. Customs deemed it a “regular” motor vehicle.
If you were wondering, the 2020 Ferrari 488 Pista costs roughly $303,000. On the other hand, Rob Walton presumably wasn’t too concerned about this import charge, given that he makes that amount in approximately an hour from his Walmart dividends.
Rob paid $9.19 million for two pieces of land in Aspen, Colorado, in 2000. He never built anything on the ground near the Roaring Fork River. Rob sold the two plots together for $30.8 million in June 2022.