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Wal-mart heir dies in crash of "homemade, experimental aircraft"

The 58-year-old heir was ranked No. 11 on <i>Forbes</i>' list of the world's richest people. But at least he gave some of his money away for low-income families to send their kids to private school.
 
 
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Diversity Inc. reported today that Wal-Mart heir John Walton has died in a plane crash. The 58-year-old, um, HEIR (sorry, I don't know what else he actually did for a living) died while "at the controls of a homemade, experimental aircraft."

[Eek. Something about the sound of a "homemade experimental aircraft" tends to frighten me.]

Anyway, Wal-Mart truly sucks, but I'm not a 100% total asshole -- just 68%, duh -- so I don't feel comfortable insulting a dead guy. (Even though his family's sex-discriminatin' company kept lots and lots of hard-earned money -- and decent healthcare -- from lots and lots of hard-working employees.)

At least John raised some money for low-income kids (um, to go to private schools; but hey) -- in 1988, he founded the Children's Scholarship Fund "to provide low-income families with money to send their children to private schools."

And in March, Forbes listed John as No. 11 on its list of the world's richest people, with a net worth of a whopping $18.2 billion.

What's weird, though, is that -- regardless of everything else that's so seriously warped about Wal-Mart -- in April, the company was ranked number 29 on Diversity Inc's top 50 companies for diversity. A good thing, I guess...? Yes?

Laura Barcella is an Associate Editor at AlterNet.