World’s richest woman Christy Walton tops $US41.7 billion.
Christy Walton owes her fortune to the founders of Walmart (WMT), the Walton family, although she married into the clan. Her husband, John Walton, died in 2005 at the age of 58 when he crashed a small experimental plane he was piloting in Wyoming. John Walton was one of Walmart founder Sam Walton’s four children.
Her fortune is tied to the 12.4 percent stake she inherited from her husband, according to Bloomberg. She also owns a stake in solar-panel manufacturer First Solar (FSLR) and is likely to have more than $5 billion in cash and other investable assets, according to a Bloomberg estimate.
While a private person, Christy Walton in 2013 financed a film called “Bless Me, Ultima,” based on a 1972 novel about a New Mexican boy who is guided by an older healer named Ultima. In an interview, Christy Walton said she was inspired by a near-death experience to make the movie.
While coming under fire for failing to take the Giving Pledge, which is the vow created by Warren Buffet and Bill and Melinda Gates to donate most of one’s wealth to philanthropy, Christy Walton has supported institutions such as the University of Arkansas and The Walton Family Charitable Support Foundation.