Rounding up the wealthiest people in America, the heiress came out on top of other female billionaires in the annual list.
Every year around September, Forbes releases its list of the 400 richest Americans. Though this elite group lost a collective $500 billion last year, they seemed to have gained it all back in 2023. They are now worth $4.5 trillion, while it now takes $2.9 billion to even make the list.
This year, the title of “Richest Woman in America” goes back to Alice Walton, heir of the retail corporation Walmart. She held the title from 2015 through 2021, only losing it in 2022 to Julia Koch, the widow of Koch Industries billionaire David Koch.
In the past year, Walmart stock rose up to 19%, with many Americans seeking bargain deals. From $55.7 billion last year, Walton’s net worth grew to an estimated $66.5 billion.
She is the only daughter of Walmart co-founder Sam Walton, who passed away in 1992. However, her only role in the company was as a buyer of children’s clothes after graduating from college. She has never sat on the board unlike her brothers, but Forbes estimates that she owns 12% of the retailing giant’s stock.
Funding healthcare and the arts
She often uses this wealth to fund her love for the arts. Walton is deeply interested in art history and collecting. After acquiring pieces for decades, she opened the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in her hometown of Bentonville, Arkansas.
The museum, featuring her personal collection, is free to enter and contains nearly five centuries of American masterpieces. Some of the featured artists include Georgia O’Keeffe, Andy Warhol, and Keith Haring.
In 2017, she formed the Alice L. Walton Foundation which aims to promote the arts, education, health, and improving economic opportunity. Along with this, in 2021, Walton announced that she will be building a nonprofit medical school in Bentonville called the Alice L. Walton School of Medicine. The school’s doors are set to open in 2025.
Last year, though she wasn’t named the Richest Woman in America, Walton received the Getty Medal for her dedication to “expanding access to the arts and arts education to communities throughout our nation.”
Banner image via Wikimedia Commons.