The Richest Woman In The United States (2024)

The Richest Woman In The United States (2024)

In 2024, There is one woman whose fortune and impact resonate far beyond finance and business. As the wealthiest woman in America, Alice Walton, the heiress to the Walmart legacy, embodies a unique blend of inherited wealth, business savvy, and a deep commitment to philanthropy and the arts. According to Forbes, Alice Walton’s net worth is currently $65 billion, and she is ranked as the 21st richest person globally. 

Her story is not just one of financial success but also a multifaceted journey through diverse fields, from her early days in finance to her profound influence in art and healthcare. This article delves into the life of Alice Walton, exploring how she has shaped her legacy and the impact she continues to have as one of the most influential figures in the United States.

Alice Walton: The Heiress of Walmart’s Legacy

Alice Walton, the only daughter of Walmart founder Sam Walton, is a towering figure in wealth and influence. Her inheritance from the Walmart empire, a retail juggernaut founded by her father, forms the bedrock of her immense fortune.

Alice Walton owns over 2,945,518 units of Walmart Inc. stock worth over $35,884,756,964, and over the last 12 years, Alice has sold WMT stock worth over $28,045,572,197.[1]

As of 2024, her stake in Walmart significantly bolsters her net worth, making her a billionaire and the wealthiest woman in the United States. Walmart’s history, marked by exponential growth and global expansion, is intrinsically linked to Ms. Walton’s wealth. Her story is not just one of inheritance but also the legacy of one of the world’s most successful retail chains.

Early Life and Educational Journey of Alice Walton

Born into the Walton family, Alice’s early life was shaped within a business dynasty. Growing up in a family known for its retail empire, she was exposed to the business world from a young age. Alice Walton’s educational journey took her to Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in Economics. This academic background laid the foundation for her diverse career interests, ranging from finance to the arts, and set the stage for her future endeavors.

A Diverse Career: From Finance to Art

Alice Walton’s career trajectory showcases her versatility and diverse interests. Initially carving a niche in the finance sector, she worked as an equity analyst and money manager, honing her skills in investment and banking. However, her career path took a unique turn as she delved into the world of art. This shift from finance to the arts highlights her multifaceted personality and ability to transcend traditional career boundaries and create her unique journey.

The Llama Company: Walton’s Venture into Investment Banking

In 1988, Alice Walton made a significant move by founding the Llama Company, an investment bank where she served as president, chairwoman, and CEO. This venture was a testament to her entrepreneurial spirit and financial acumen. Although the Llama Company eventually closed, its operations and impact reflected Alice’s innovative approach to business and finance.

Alice Walton’s Impact on Northwest Arkansas

Alice Walton’s influence extends beyond her business and art endeavors, significantly impacting the development of Northwest Arkansas. Her pivotal role in establishing the Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport is a prime example of her commitment to regional development. Her contributions have been instrumental in shaping the infrastructure and economic landscape of the area, underscoring her role as a critical figure in the region’s growth.

A Passion for Art: Building Crystal Bridges Museum

Alice Walton’s most notable contribution to art is establishing the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas. Opened in 2011, the museum houses works from renowned artists like Andy Warhol, Norman Rockwell, and Mark Rothko. Crystal Bridges is not just a museum; it manifests Walton’s vision to make art accessible and her commitment to cultural enrichment. Her passion for art is evident in the museum’s diverse collection and its impact on the art community.

Political Contributions and Influence

Alice Walton’s influence extends to the political arena through her significant contributions to various campaigns and political groups. These donations reflect her engagement in the political process and her ability to wield influence in matters beyond the business world. Her political contributions are a testament to her status as an influential figure in American society.

Philanthropic Endeavors: From Arts to Healthcare

Philanthropy is another arena where Alice Walton has made her mark. Through the Alice L. Walton Foundation, she has channeled substantial resources into arts, education, health, and economic opportunity. Her philanthropic efforts, particularly in arts and healthcare, underscore her commitment to giving back to society and improving the lives of others.

The Alice L. Walton School of Medicine: A Vision for Holistic Healthcare

In 2021, Alice Walton announced the establishment of the Alice L. Walton School of Medicine in Bentonville, focusing on holistic healthcare. This initiative reflects her vision to transform healthcare education and delivery. The school aims to integrate different aspects of health and wellness, highlighting Walton’s innovative approach to healthcare.

Personal Life: Beyond the Fortune

She was raised along with her three brothers in Bentonville, Arkansas, and graduated from Bentonville High School in 1966.

Walton married a prominent Louisiana investment banker in 1974 at age 24. They were divorced two and a half years later. According to Forbes, she married “the contractor who built her swimming pool” soon after, “but they, too, divorced quickly.” She had no children. Walton purchased land and developed a ranch where she raised competitive show horses.[2]

Away from the public eye, Alice Walton’s personal life is marked by her interests and passions. She is an avid art collector and philanthropist, and her pursuits align closely with her professional interests. Her life story is not just about wealth accumulation but also about her journey and the choices that have shaped her as an individual.

Recognition and Awards: A Legacy Beyond Wealth

Alice Walton’s contributions have been recognized through various awards and honors, reflecting her impact on business, art, and philanthropy. These accolades are acknowledgments of her wealth and her influence and contributions to society. They underscore the breadth and depth of her impact across multiple domains.

The Future of Walton’s Legacy

Looking ahead, Alice Walton’s legacy is poised to grow and evolve. Her ongoing projects and initiatives in business, art, and philanthropy are likely to further cement her status as a key figure in American society. Her influence extends beyond her wealth, shaping her as a multifaceted individual with a lasting impact on various sectors.

Key Takeaways

  • Wealth Inheritance and Business Acumen: Alice Walton’s fortune is not just an inheritance but also a result of her savvy in business and investments.
  • Educational Foundations and Diverse Interests: Her academic background in economics and her varied interests have shaped her multifaceted career.
  • Entrepreneurial Ventures and Artistic Pursuits: Walton’s establishment of the Llama Company and Crystal Bridges Museum illustrates her entrepreneurial spirit and passion for the arts.
  • Regional Development and Philanthropic Impact: Her contributions to Northwest Arkansas and her philanthropic activities in arts and healthcare highlight her commitment to societal betterment.
  • Political Engagement and Influence: Walton’s political donations underscore her active participation in shaping public policy.
  • Innovative Approach in Healthcare Education: The creation of the Alice L. Walton School of Medicine showcases her forward-thinking in holistic healthcare.
  • Personal Interests Aligned with Professional Goals: Her life, marked by art collection and philanthropy, mirrors her professional endeavors.
  • Recognition Beyond Wealth: Awards and honors received by Walton reflect her contributions beyond her financial status.
  • Future Prospects and Enduring Influence: Walton’s ongoing projects promise to further solidify her legacy as a transformative figure in various sectors.


Alice Walton’s journey epitomizes a blend of inherited wealth and self-driven success. Her story transcends the typical narrative of affluence, illustrating a life marked by diverse pursuits, innovative contributions, and a profound impact across multiple spheres. From her roots in a renowned business family to her strides in art and philanthropy, Walton’s life is a testament to the power of integrating personal passions with professional endeavors.

Enriched by her multifaceted interests and commitments, her legacy stands as a beacon of how wealth, when coupled with vision and dedication, can foster significant societal advancements. As the wealthiest woman in the United States in 2024, Alice Walton’s influence extends far beyond her financial worth, embodying a holistic approach to success and legacy building.

Alice Walton’s journey from the heiress of the Walmart legacy to a prominent figure in art, philanthropy, and beyond paints a picture of a woman whose influence transcends her wealth. Her story is one of diversity, innovation, and impact, making her not just the richest woman in the United States in 2024 but also a symbol of multifaceted success and enduring legacy.[3] [4] [5]