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Telling Fortunes

No. 1: Alice Walton

Age: 63Home: MillsapNet Worth: $33.5 billion

There’s rich, and then there’s Walton rich. The family of Walmart founders Sam and Bud Walton is today collectively worth $115.7 billion, making it the wealthiest clan in the world. Probably its most visible member is Alice Walton, the richest person in Texas. But don’t be intimidated. She just so happens to be the sort of mega-billionaire you could have a beer with. Walton is attractive but resolutely plain, wearing little makeup and pulling her hair into a casual bun or ponytail. Her pleasantly weathered face reflects her love of the outdoors. When she throws a dinner party, she cooks the meal herself. She lives in a modest one-story ranch house in Millsap, west of Fort Worth, where she raises her beloved cutting horses. She has made the news for her tendency to get in trouble while behind the wheel—in 1983 she lost control of a rented Jeep and plunged into a ravine; in 1989, driving her own Porsche, she hit and killed a fifty-year-old woman (no charges were filed); and in 1998 she was convicted of drinking and driving. But she is best known today as the force behind Crystal Bridges, the magnificent art museum in Bentonville, Arkansas, that opened to rave reviews in 2011. Alice has been her family’s most generous philanthropist, but the museum, which features hundreds of millions of dollars in art from her private collection, has taken her public presence to a new level. 

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