S. Robson Walton is a son Sam Walton, founder of the world largest retailer Wal-Mart. As of December 2015 his networth is $29.8 billion and occupies 13th position in the Forbes 400. He held the position of Chairman of the Wal-Mart Board of Directors from 1992 to 2015. For the time being, his activities are primarily connected with educational and nonprofit organizations.
Both of his parents were of White American ethnic group
Samuel Robson Walton was born in 1944 to Helen and Samuel Walton in Tulsa and grew up in Bentonville and Newport, Ark. His father, Samuel Walton, born in 1918 in the dusty community of Kingfisher, Oklahoma, had accumulated the biggest family fortune in America by the time he died in 1992.
Rob is the eldest child of the Walton family with siblings Alice Walton, Jim Walton and John Walton (died in 2005).
After completing high school in Tusla, Rob proceeded with his education in College of Wooster, a small liberal arts school in Ohio. The choice of this college his mother explained by its Presbytarian affiliation, which is the Walton's denomination. During his senior year in high school he was an all-state football player, and he went on playing football in College. Recollecting his football pursuits, he jokes, "I was small but slow as a college tackle."
In two years, he moved to the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, situated 25 miles south of Bentonville. He majored in accounting. After graduation in 1966 he went on to Columbia Law School in New York. The reason for him to focus on law studies was his grandfather, as 'he was kind of my role model".
In childhood Rob was not out of work, he "worked in Dad's stores moving boxes - I remember quite well one stockroom that was upstairs - sweeping floors, laying tile. I also had paper routes."
After graduation from Columbia Law School he did not immediately switch to Was-Mart. Instead he took a job with Tulsa law firm Conner & Winters. He picked Tulsa for several reasons, majorly because of this city being the closest to Bentonville, furthermore, it gave him "breathing room from his family". As a part of his job there Rob helped organize his family's ownership in the business into Walton Enterprises, and he did legal work for Wal-Mart's IPO in October 1970.
But his father wanted him to come back to Bentonvile, and in 1978 Rob returned home.
Sam appointed his son as senior vice president and company secretary, and later in 1982 as vice chairman, and put him on the board. He told Rob that there wasn't enough work to do for a lawyer at Wal-Mart, "so he just dumped some more stuff on his desk, starting with real estate.", as David Glass, the former President and Chief Executive Officer of Wal-Mart, recollects.
After the death of Sam Walton in 1992, Rob succeeded him as Chairman of the Board of directors and held this position until 2015.
At present he is occupied with a number of nonprofit and educational organizations, including Conservation International, where he serves as chairman of the executive committee, and the College of Wooster, where he is an Emeritus Life Trustee.
Thus, Rob Walton dedicated his almost entire career Wal-Mart becoming one of the world's largest retail chain in the world, and the world's largest company by revenue.
The Waltons are often criticized for lacking any religious or moral values, and characterized as not pursuing any religious practice. What is more they are reluctant to donate money in charities and churches.
Interestingly, but studies suggest that the Waltons largely favour Republican Party, supporting this party candidates with millions of dollars. The thing is that they contribute to the party policies of which generally contradict to the Wal-Marts support for progressive policies and initiatives. These include areas such as gun control, environment, marriage equality and LGBT rights, minimum wage, immigration, women and civil rights.
Since the 2004 federal election cycle began, Rob Walton has given nearly $217,000 in federal political contributions. Of that total, about 10 percent went to Wal-Mart Stores or Arvest Bank Group; of the remaining amount, 88% went to Republicans.
In 2005, Arizona resident Rob Walton donated $250,000 to “Yes on 77,” a group formed in support of California’s Proposition 77. Had it not been defeated by California voters, Proposition 77 would have given authority to redraw congressional and legislative districts to three retired judges, shifting that power from the Democrat-controlled General Assembly and strengthening the Republican governor’s hand.
As was previously pointed out, the Waltons maintain low profile, and Rob is not an exception.
There is one peculiar thing about his office in Wal-Mart headquarters, it is about the size of a large supply closet. "Ten feet by ten feet and with no windows". His office is smaller than others' in Wal-Mart for two reasons. Firstly, it implies that even the son of Sam Walton shouldn't get preferential treatment. Secondly, he is not in the office that much, while he has other passions.
He has been known to carry a little notebook on trips to write down names and take notes. And like his father, Rob asks questions. "Most billionaires I meet tell me what they think," says a Wall Street executive who spent time with him recently. "But Rob was asking me questions - should Wal-Mart increase its dividend or buy back stock?" This is a part of Rob's DNA: "I learned from my Dad that change and experimentation are constants and important. You have to keep trying new things."
Wal-Mart with Rob being Chairman took lots of heat.
Members of the Organization United for Respect at Walmart (OUR Walmart) and their allies have repeatedly reached out to Rob Walton for him to listen to their concerns. Mr. Walton has repeatedly ignored these requests.
Wal-Mart CEO Lee Scott, "Rob has no interest in discussions about whether the Clorox should be on the third shelf". "But with real estate and legal and those sorts of areas, his knowledge base and his ability to drill down is remarkable. He also has a photographic memory. He can tell you about a store that we opened in Paducah, Ky., and that it's near a Burger King and three miles from the interstate and why the Kmart has a slightly better location."
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The Waltons are widely-known for living very low-profile lives, therefore it is often hard to find them in press or any signs of their wealth.
Throughout life Rob was constantly compared with his father Sam. He is considered to be a brilliant person, but unlike his father he is neither the retailing genius nor the firecracker. His strength is that he never denies that fact. In the interview to the Fortune magazine he said, "Me and Dad are just very different people," Rob says. "My strengths are more analytical. I've got a legal background and an accounting background. I really wouldn't feel appropriate comparing myself to him."
Rob is known for flying the airplane on his own. Lee Scott: "We never fly on the same plane, so if we're going to a meeting out of town we sometimes race to see who can get there first," "Rob's a good pilot, he follows all the rules."
Apart from it, he is a huge lover of vintage sports cars. Rob Walton’s car collection[vi] reportedly includes a Ferrari 250 GTO (which sell for $35 to $52 Million), a 1965 Shelby Cobra (valued at $820 Thousand), a 1964 Ferrari 250 LM (valued at $14.6 Million), a 1960 Maserati T60, a 1958 Scarab MKI, a 1961 Ferrari 250 GT SWB (valued at up to $4.1 Million), a 1957 Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa (purchased by Rob for $12.1 Million; one recently sold for $39.8 Million).
Although his net worth stands at $34.2 Billion, long-time Walmart chairman Rob Walton has not made a single personal contribution to the Walton Family Foundation, according to a report by The Walmart1Percent. The report is based on an analysis of 23 years’ worth of the Foundation’s tax returns.
His leadership at Wal-Mart was often criticized and vilified because of pseudo-policies concerning issues of environment, working hours and discrimination. Members of the Organization United for Respect at Walmart (OUR Walmart) and their allies have continually reached out to Rob Walton for him to listen to their concerns. Mr. Walton has repeatedly took no notice of these requests.
: 1.83 meters tall
“Lee Scott: "Can you imagine growing up as Sam Walton's oldest son?" "But I think Rob has it figured out. He celebrates his dad's memory but he doesn't compete with him. Rob does his own thing."”
Cycling, hunting , bio-safari, racing
He has been married three times and has three children. For the first time he married Patricia Rawlings Walton while being in Tulsa but they divorced in the mid 1970s. By the time of divorce they had three children Sam Walton (b. 1968), Carrie Walton Penner (b.1970) and Ben Walton. His next marriage to Carolyn Funk Walton also ended in divorce in 2000. His current wife is Melani Walton whom he married in 2005.