Philanthropist and Entrepreneur John Walton Killed in Airplane Crash


BENTONVILLE, Ark. (June 27, 2005) – It is with great sorrow that Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., announces the death of John Walton.  A Vietnam War hero, member of the Wal-Mart Board of Directors and philanthropist, Walton was killed when the ultra-light aircraft he was piloting crashed shortly after take-off from the Jackson Hole Airport in Grand Teton National Park. The crash occurred at approximately 1:20 p.m. CDT and the cause has not yet been determined. Walton, 58, was the aircraft’s sole occupant.

Walton was the second son of Wal-Mart founder, Sam Walton.

As a board member of the Walton Family Foundation, Walton played a leading role in guiding the Foundation’s contributions to elementary and high school education, including scholarship programs to provide parents with greater choice in education.

Walton served in the U.S. Army Green Berets as a medic during the Vietnam War.  He was awarded the Silver Star for saving the lives of several members of his unit while under intense enemy fire.

Walton pursued a variety of business interests throughout his life, including work as a crop duster in the 1970s and as a boat builder in the 1980s and 1990s.  More recently, Walton formed the holding company True North, which is composed of businesses ranging from advanced composites to boat building to venture capital investments.

Walton has been a member of the Wal-Mart Board of Directors since 1992.

Walton attended the College of Wooster.  He is survived by his wife Christy and their son, Luke; his mother Helen; two brothers, Rob and Jim; a sister, Alice; and their families.

No funeral arrangements have been announced. 

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