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Sam Walton was an American businessman best known for founding the retail chain Wal-Mart, which grew to be the world’s largest corporation.
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Sam Walton was born on March 29, 1918, in Kingfisher, Oklahoma. Walton opened the first Wal-Mart in 1962, after years in the retail management business. The discount chain expanded internationally over the next 30 years, growing into the world’s largest company by 2010. Walton stepped down as CEO in 1988, at the age of 70, but remained active in the company until his death in 1992.
"High expectations are the key to everything."
A pioneering businessman who broke convention and showed that large discount stores could thrive in small, rural areas, Samuel Moore Walton was born March 29, 1918 in Kingfisher, Oklahoma. He was the first son of Thomas Walton, a banker, and his wife, Nancy Lee. Early in his life Walton and his family moved to Missouri, where he was raised. An able student and a good athlete, Walton quarterbacked his high school football team and was an Eagle Scout. Upon his graduation from Hickman High School in Columbia, Missouri, in 1936, his classmates named him "most versatile boy." After high school, Walton stayed close to home and enrolled at the University of Missouri in Columbia, where he graduated with a degree in economics in 1940.
Following college, Walton got his first real taste of the retail world when took a job in Des Moines with the J.C. Penney Company, which was still a relatively small retailer.
After serving as an Army captain in an intelligence unit during World War II, Walton returned to private life in 1945 and used a $25,000 loan from his father-in-law to acquire his first store, a Ben Franklin franchise in Newport, Arkansas.
In less than two decades, Walton, working with his younger brother, James, came to own 15 Ben Franklin stores. But frustration over the management of the chain, in particular the decision to ignore Walton’s push to expand into rural communities, prompted him to strike out on his own.
In 1962 Walton opened his first Wal-Mart store in Rogers, Arkansas. Success was swift. By 1976 Wal-Mart was a publicly traded company with share value north of $176 million. By the early 1990s, Wal-Mart’s stock worth had jumped to $45 billion. In 1991 Wal-Mart surpassed Sears, Roebuck & Company to become the country’s largest retailer.
Walton was responsible for a lot of the success. His vision of a discount retail store in rural areas was accompanied by the founder’s hard-charging, demanding style. Walton, who often began his work days at 4:30 in the morning, expected results from those beneath him, and wasn’t afraid to change course or reshuffle his personnel if he didn’t like the numbers that came back to him.
Even in the grips of a recession, Walton’s stores proved successful. In 1991, as the country was mired in an economic downturn, Wal-Mart increased sales by more than 40 percent. But that success also made Wal-Mart a target, especially for small-town merchants and other residents who argued the giant chain was wiping out a community’s smaller stores and downtown retail. Walton, however, tried to meet those fears head-on, promising jobs and donations to local charities, which the company often delivered in some fashion.
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Incorporated in 1910, the Boy Scouts of America was founded with the aim of instilling ethics and morals into the lives of young boys. A Scout is a "trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent," boy who, above all, strives to "be prepared" and "do his best." The highest order of these Boy Scouts are the Eagle Scouts, a rare group of young men who rise through the scouting ranks to earn 21 merit badges, serve for six months in a troop leadership position, and successfully complete a strict Eagle Scout board of review, among other requirements.
The first Eagle Scout to complete this training was 17-year-old Arthur R. Eldred, on September 2, 1912. Since then, more than 2 million Boy Scouts have earned the coveted rank. Here are some of the most famous of the honorable young men who made it to the top of the Boy Scouts program.
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Famous People Born in 1918 57 people in this group