Synopsis by John Patrick Sheehan
This edition of Biography, the long running documentary series from A&E, explores the life of billionaire businessman Sam Walton. In 1945, he opened the first of a chain of Ben Franklin five-and-dime franchises in Arkansas, and in 1962, his first Wal-Mart discount store. He created a national chain of Wal-Mart stores in small towns and rural areas, selling brand-name goods in high volume at low prices. The company went public and thanks to a unique decentralized distribution system and his charismatic leadership and celebrated hands-on management style, it grew exponentially in the 1980s. In 1991 Wal-Mart became the nation's largest retailer, with 1,700 stores; he was reported by Forbes to be the richest man in the country. He was president and CEO until 1988 and chairman until his death.