Age: 57 (born 1955)
Residence: Jackson, Wyoming
Estimated net worth: $27.9 billion (through her late husband’s estate; as of September 2012).
Richest woman in the world, per Forbes magazine.
Her husband, John, the son of Sam Walton, died suddenly in 2005. Through John’s estate, Christy Walton:
- Shares 47% ownership of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. with John’s siblings, Alice, Jim, and Rob.
- Shares 96% ownership of the family’s Arvest Bank (Jim Walton, CEO) with Rob and Jim Walton; As of September 2012, the bank’s assets totaled approximately $13.8 billion.
- Holds 31% ownership in solar energy company First Solar—an investment whose value has fallen significantly in recent years as a result of a decline in the company’s share price but which is still worth nearly $820 million.
Educational and professional background
Walton has described herself on political donations as a “homemaker” and “philanthropist.”
Federal election giving
In the past three federal election cycles, she has given almost $94,000 to candidates for federal office, more than 80 percent to Republicans or Republican political action committees (PACs), and including $25,000 to both of the PACs supporting Republican candidates for Congress. She has also supported the Walmart PAC.
Examples of state-level election giving
- Wisconsin: As the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism reported in September 2011, Christy Walton was the third-largest individual contributor to winning state legislative candidates in the 2010 elections that put Republicans in control of the state government. Six of the top ten individual donors were members of the Walton family. Under the first budget passed by Gov. Scott Walker and the Republican-majority legislature, funding for public schools was cut by $800 million over two years, while funding for programs that funnel public money to private schools increased by $17 million over two years.
- California: In 2005, the day after then-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoed a bill—opposed by Walmart but often referred to as “the Walmart bill”—that would have required the state to disclose the names of companies with 25 or more workers and whose employees received publicly-funded state health benefits, Christy Walton gave $250,000 to Schwarzenegger’s California Recovery Team campaign account.
- Walton financed the development of the film Bless Me, Ultima, a film adaptation of Rudolfo Anaya’s novel of the same name. She is listed as executive producer on the film.
- Co-chair, Children’s Scholarship Fund, which funds private school educations for low-income children. John Walton co-founded CSF in 1998 with the late Republican financier Ted Forstmann.
- Emeritus Director, Teton Science Schools; Christy’s son Lukas graduated from Teton Science Schools’ Journeys School in 2005.
- Former member, San Diego Natural History Museum Board of Directors
- In 2006, Christy Walton donated the family’s former seven-acre National City, CA estate to the International Community Foundation, with the promise that ICF would maintain the organic gardens on the property. Walton had fed her son Lukas with produce from the garden when he had cancer as a child.
- Walton is listed as one of the “Connoisseurs” of the Mingei International Museum, a folk art museum in San Diego. Connoisseurs comprise a short list of museum patrons who are “dedicated to building the Museum’s collections.” Walton has been a sponsor of multiple exhibitions at the museum, and donated a “prize-winning Kyrgyz yurt” that she had purchased and brought to the U.S. from Kyrgyzstan in 2007.
 Nexis public records search
 See “Statement Posted on Behalf of Walton Enterprises,” http://walmartstores.com/pressroom/news/10700.aspx, September 21, 2011, which explains that S. Robson Walton, Jim C. Walton, Alice L. Walton, and the John T. Walton Estate Trust are the voting members of Walton Enterprises. Also see Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.’s most recent proxy statement from April 2012 (http://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/104169/000119312512163664/d264672ddef14a.htm), which shows that Walton Enterprises owned about 1.68 billion shares in the company (47.3% of outstanding shares).
 Wal-Mart primer from former company spokesman,” Northwestern Financial Review, Vol. 194, No. 5, 3/1/2009-3/14/2009
 FDIC Institution Directory: Arvest Bank Group, Inc., Bentonville, AR, information as of September 30, 2011. Available online at http://www2.fdic.gov/idasp/report_BHC.asp?inSortIndex=0&inCert1=1095674.
 See page 16 of the most recent proxy statement for First Solar, Inc., April 2012: http://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/1274494/000119312512158358/d315388ddef14a.htm
 “FSLR Historical Prices – First Solar, Inc.,” http://finance.yahoo.com/q/hp?s=FSLR+Historical+Prices; calculation based on 12/31/12 share price of $30.86.
 OpenSecrets.org; see, for example, 11/13/2008 donation to Wal-Mart Stores PAC in which her occupation is listed as Homemaker, and 3/3/2010 donation to Tom Campbell in which her occupation is listed as Philanthropist.
 OpenSecrets.org, 11/30/2011
 Dan Morain, “Initiative Fundraising in High Gear”, Los Angeles Times, 27 Oct 2005.
 “Walton aircraft was troubled,” Angus M. Thuermer, Jr., Jackson Hole News & Guide, available online at http://www.jhnewsandguide.com/Archives/NewsArchive/2004/050629-News.html
 “Museum preview has Antarctica down cold,” Burl Stiff, The San Diego Union-Tribune, February 3, 1994.
 “Expanding Young Minds & Palates: Olivewood Gardens center teaches children to grow, eat veggies,” Martina Schimitschek, San Diego Union-Tribune, May 28, 2011.