Discounting Dynamo: Sam Walton

Wal-Mart brought low prices to small cities, but its creator also changed the way Big Business is run

No one better personified the vitality of the American Dream in the second half of the 20th century than Sam Walton. A scrappy, sharp-eyed bantam rooster of a boy, Walton grew up in the Depression dust bowl of Oklahoma and Missouri, where he showed early signs of powerful ambition: Eagle Scout at an improbably young age and quarterback of the Missouri state-champion high school football team. He earned money to help his struggling family by throwing newspapers and selling milk from the cow. After graduating from the University of Missouri, he served in the Army during World War II. Then, like...

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