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From the New York Times yesterday:
For years, Christy Walton, the widow of Walmart heir John T. Walton, was considered the richest woman in the world. The consensus gossip in plutocratic sewing circles was that Ms. Walton had inherited the bulk of her husband?s vast estate when he perished in a plane crash ten years ago. But according to court documents obtained by Bloomberg this morning, the late Walton left half of his then-$17 billion fortune to charity, a third to his son Lukas Walton, and the rest to his wife.
Now estimates of Christy Walton?s fortune have been revised down from $32 billion to a piddling $5 billion. But even as Bloomberg exposed Ms. Walton as a mere single-digit billionaire, they vaulted her son out of the huddled masses of trust-fund millionaires and into 103rd place on the list of the world?s richest people.
So, what do we know about this 29-year-old whose wealth outstrips that of many island nations?
He almost died of cancer as a small child: When Lukas was 3 years old, he was diagnosed with a rare form of kidney cancer that quickly spread to his lungs. In an interview with the San Diego Tribune in 2008, Christy Walton credited her son?s miraculous recovery to a plant- and herb-based diet, with all the vegetables sourced from the family?s own home garden.
?I was giving Luke six glasses of juice daily ? fruit or carrot. We would get organic pasta. I removed red meat and pork altogether, made my own mustard, mayo,? Walton told the paper. ?In five months, Luke’s tumor was gone. I attribute that to a complete nutrition change.?….
…..He is enormously powerful: John Walton?s will ordered that his son be given the right to vote the estate?s general and limited partner units in Walton Enterprises, a holding company that owns a 50.2 percent stake in Wal-Mart Stores Inc., the nation?s largest private employer.
Full article here.