Walton, one of three sons of Wal-Mart founder Sam Walton and a member of the company's board, was a major advocate of school vouchers, supporting efforts to create taxpayer-funded ways for students to attend private schools.
John Walton was a major stakeholder in Wal-Mart, with about 12 million shares of the company's stock. He also shared ownership of about 1.7 billion shares with his family in a joint partnership called Walton Enterprises LLC. Walton joined the board of Wal-Mart Stores Inc. in 1992.
John Walton was an Army veteran who served with the Green Berets as a medic during the Vietnam War. He was awarded the Silver Star for saving the lives of several members of his unit while under enemy fire, according to the company.
He attended the College of Wooster in Wooster, Ohio, and served as a board member of the Walton Family Foundation, which played a key role in fundraising in the University of Arkansas' recent Campaign for the 21st Century. The Walton family made a $300 million gift to the campaign in 2002.
Besides his mother and siblings, Walton is survived by his wife, Christy, and son, Luke.