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Acknowledgments
  Life has been great to me, probably better than any man has a right to expect. At home, I've beenblessed with a wife and family who've stuck together and loved each other and indulged my lifelongobsession with minding the store. At work, my business life has been spent in lockstep with an incrediblegroup of Wal-Mart associates who have put up with all my aggravation and bullheadedness and pulledtogether to make what once appeared truly impossible now seem expected and routine.

So first, I want to dedicate this book to Helen Robson Walton and the four fine kids she raisedwithsome help along the way from the old manour sons Rob, John, and Jim, and our daughter Alice.

Then I want to dedicate it to all my partnersand I wish I could recognize every one of you individually,but we've talked over the years and you know how I feel about youand to all 400,000 of myassociate-partners who've made this wild, wild Wal-Mart ride so much fun and so special. Much of thisbook is really your story.

Earlier on, there were fewer of us. Jackie Lancaster, our first floor manager inNewport,Arkansas. InezThreet, Ruby Turner, Wanda Wiseman, Ruth Kellermy first four associates when we opened Walton'sFive and Dime in Bentonville onAugust 1, 1951. What would we have done without those earlymanagers Most of them risked so much by leaving good jobs with much larger variety chains to join upwith a one-horse outfit run by an overactive dreamer down in Bentonvillepeople like Clarence Leis,Willard Walker, Charlie Baum, Ron Loveless, Bob Bogle, Claude Harris, Ferold Arend, Charlie Cate,Al Miles, Thomas Jefferson, Gary Reinboth. There was Bob Thornton, Darwin Smith, Jim Henry, PhilGreen, and Don Whitaker. And I can't forget Ray Thomas, Jim Dismore, Jim Elliott, or John Hawks.

Ron Mayer made special contributions, and Jack Shewmaker had as much to do with making Wal-Marta great company as anybody. John Tate has provided valuable counsel all along the way.

Of course, Wal-Mart wouldn't be what it is today without a host of fine competitors, most especiallyHarry Cunningham of Kmart, who really designed and built the first discount store as we know it today,and who, in my opinion, should be remembered as one of the leading retailers of all time.

Still, I think I'll hold on to my Wal-Mart stock, knowing that David Glass is at the wheel, steering a greatteam: Don Soderquist, Paul Carter, and A. L. Johnson. And when I think about young guys like BillFields and Dean Sanders and Joe Hardin running huge parts of the company, I know that one day they'llput us all to shame.

Of course, my number-one retail partner from our third store on has been my brother, James L. "Bud"Walton, who has a few things of his own to say about me in this booknot all of them flattering. Bud'swise counsel and guidance kept us from many a mistake. My nature has always been to charge, to saylet's do it now. Often, Bud would advise taking a different direction, or maybe changing the timing. I soonlearned to listen to him because he has exceptional judgment and a great deal of common sense.

Finally, I hope there's a special place in heaven reserved for my two secretaries, Loretta Boss, who waswith me for twenty-five years, and Becky Elliott, who's been with me now for three years. They deserveit after what they've put up with here on earth.

Samuel Moore WaltonBentonville,Arkansas


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