Who is Christy Walton?

Christy Walton is one of the world’s wealthiest people and also one of the top philanthropists across the globe. She inherited her wealth from her husband John Walton, son of Walmart founder Sam Walton, who died in a 2005 plane crash while flying an experimental plane near Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

Christy Walton's Wealth

For several years, Forbes magazine called Christy Walton the world's richest woman, but in 2015, an analysis of court documents by Bloomberg led the business news source to conclude that rather than being worth $37 billion, she was actually only worth $5 billion. As a whole, the family wealth of the living Waltons during that time was estimated at over $100 billion, but in the case of Christy Walton, her son Lukas Walton received the largest amount of inheritance from his deceased father John.

Actual wealth notwithstanding, Walton is perhaps best known for her philanthropic giving to organizations across the nation. Walton is board member emeritus of the Children’s Scholarship Fund, an organization that makes private education affordable for low-income children, an organization her husband John co-founded in 1998. She also gives to numerous nonprofits including the San Diego Natural History Museum, World Mosquito Program, Ecology Project International, Ocean Oasis, and UC San Diego School of Medicine.

Walton also produced the film adaptation of Rudolfo Anaya’s book Bless Me, Ultima in 2012. A year later, the film won four awards, from the Imagen Foundation, which promotes employment and positive images of Latinos in television and film. Walton herself took home the President's Award.

In addition to her own personal giving, Walton is on the board of the Walton Family Charitable Support Foundation, which has its own pet projects. Receivers of the family’s largesse must work to improve K-12 education, protect waterways and their communities, and investing in their home region of Northwest Arkansas and the Arkansas-Mississippi Delta. In 2019, her family's foundation donated $525 million in grants.