Trimble, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, delivers the ""inside story"" on a man who apparently has just about no inside to reveal. Not that Walton isn't juicy meat for journalists: he's the quintessential Capra-esque billionaire, a country cracker who drives a pickup, works out of an eight- by twelve-foot office, eats breakfast at Day's Inn, lives in a three-bedroom house, dresses off-the-rack. His is the perfect American success story: born in the Midwest, active in Boy Scouts and the Methodist Church, high-school president, a management trainee at J.C. Penney's before striking out on his own to build a discount-store chain that has netted him nine billion dollars. Trimble tries hard to enliven the tale, talking to Walton's four children, all of whom eschew their dad's business; going on about Walton's bouts with cancer, trying to make a Machiavellian intrigue out of the one rather dull hitch in Walton's climb to the top (a management crisis involving a top Wal-Mart executive). But Walton's no Donald Trump or Leona Helmsley, just another all-American boy doing what he was trained to do--rake in the cash. Rags-to-riches, probably an inspiration to would-be entrepreneurs, especially those turned off by Trump razzle-dazzle. General readers will be bored; there's nothing in here that a Wal-Mart shopper would find offensive--and that says it all.
(born March 29, 1918, Kingfisher, Okla., U.S. — died April 5, 1992, Little Rock, Ark.) U.S. retail magnate, founder of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. He attended the University of Missouri and then trained with the J.C. Penney Co. In 1945 he started a chain of variety stores in Arkansas, and in 1962 he opened his first Wal-Mart store in Rogers, Ark., offering a wide selection of discount merchandise.... [continues]
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