Wal-Mart Heir Dies in Plane Crash

JUNE 28, 2005 - Posted at 8:30 a.m. CDT

BENTONVILLE, AR - Wal-Mart heir John T. Walton has died in the crash of a homemade, ultralight aircraft at Jackson Hole, Wyoming.   John Walton, a son of Wal-Mart founder Sam Walton, was listed by Forbes magazine as the 11th richest person.

The 58 year old Walton was a member of the company's board.  He was a major advocate of school vouchers, supporting efforts to create taxpayer-funded ways for students to attend private schools.

In 1998, he founded the Children's Scholarship Fund to provide low-income families with money to send their children to private schools.

John Walton owned about  12,000,000 shares of the company's stock.   Forbes Magazine listed him with a net worth of $ 18,200,000,000.

He was an Army veteran who served with the Green Berets as a medic during the Vietnam War.  The company says he was awarded the Silver Star for saving the lives of several members of his unit while under fire.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)