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The Richest Woman In America 2023



This heir takes back the title of nation’s wealthiest woman after losing the spot last year.

By Jemima Denham, Contributor

There’s a new richest woman in America. Walmart heir Alice Walton has taken back the title, which she held from 2015 through 2021, surpassing second-place Julia Koch on this year’s Forbes 400 ranking of the wealthiest people in the U.S.

Walmart stock climbed by 19% since the 2022 list, helped by customers looking for bargains amid a spike in inflation. That pushed Walton’s net worth to an estimated $66.5 billion, up from $55.7 billion last year—and $6.7 billion more than Koch, who inherited a 42% stake in privately held industrial conglomerate Koch Industries from her husband David Koch (d. 2019).

The only daughter of Walmart cofounder, Sam Walton (d. 1992), Alice Walton, 73, has—like the rest of family—largely shied from the spotlight. She got a bachelor’s in economics and finance from Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas in 1971, and worked as an equity analyst and stock broker before launching an investment bank in the 1980s. Her only role at Walmart was a brief stint as a buyer of children’s clothes after graduating from college. Unlike her brothers, she never sat on the board, but Forbes estimates that she owns around 12% of the retailing giant’s stock, mostly through two Walton family holding entities.

That’s helped fund her passion for the arts. What began as a love of watercolor painting with her mother on camping trips in the Ozarks grew into a deep interest in art history and collecting. Her first purchase was a 25-cent print of Pablo Picasso’s “Blue Nude” at age 11, bought with five weeks of earnings from selling popcorn outside her father’s store. After decades of acquisitions, she had enough art to fill a museum. So she built one in her family’s hometown of Bentonville, Arkansas, gifting her personal collection to create the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art. Today, the free museum’s inventory spans nearly five centuries of American masterworks and features artists such as Georgia O’Keeffe, Andy Warhol and Keith Haring. In 2022, Walton received the Getty Medal for her dedication to “expanding access to the arts and arts education to communities throughout our nation.”

“I didn’t realize how much people would appreciate it,” Walton told Forbes in 2013. “It’s just been the greatest joy in my life, really.”


She is a former board member of the Walton Family Foundation, which had $5.6 billion in net assets as of its latest available tax filing. The charity gives to local communities in Northwest Arkansas, environmental causes and education. Her own foundation, the $3.6 billion (net assets) Alice L. Walton Foundation, is committed to increasing access to the arts and improving education. In March, she broke ground on the Alice L. Walton School of Medicine, set to open its doors in 2025 in Bentonville, near the Crystal Bridges museum.

“I’m hoping that our founding dean might consider all of our med students becoming museum guides,” she joked at the groundbreaking earlier this year.


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Source: Forbes


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