Alice Walton, one if the first woman to enter the Forbes richest people list, is an unlikely billionaire on the list as she inherited her business worth when her brother was killed in ultralight airline crash in June of 06. Walton's brother Sam Walton accumulated his riches in the popular Wal-Mart franchise which his father created. The reason her appearance on the Forbes list is rare is not because she is a woman, but because most of the people on the Forbes list worked hard to attain their riches and were start-motivators in their rise to the top of the business world, Alice Walton was simply born into the right family.
Although the Walton family owns 40% of Wal-Mart's business, and her brother Rob is the chairman of Wal-mart, Alice Walton is not very involved with the business side of the retail king, but simply content to sit on the side and take in her share of the revenue. It should be noted however, that Alice Walton does participate in the Philanthropic side of the Walton family and does participate in overseeing which charities and causes they contribute to. Hailing for the western state of Texas, she is the perfect example of the older traditional roles woman use to play who were content to let the men handle business and they took care of the side events that were focused more on their own social standing than the actual social causes they stood for.
Due to her inheritance, she is still the second richest woman in the world next to her sister-in-law Christy Walton. This is not to discount her stance as a billionaire, simply an observation that she is not a particularly strong example of a career woman or as a business entrepreneur. Looking at the ways Alice Walton's father built up the business of Wal-mart from his position as a JC Penny's clerk who was able to identify and capture the needs of rural America is a better way to show the opportunities that are available for anyone with a little ingenuity. Alice Walton's father started small to build the company that now supports her lifestyle, not that she is simply sitting on it.
Alice Walton is very publicly active as a Republican constantly making large contribution to the conservative Progress for America organization funding pro-Iraq occupation commercials and strongly supporting George W. Bush's campaign in 2004 as the twentieth largest contributor. Although Walton used to work as a broker in her younger years, she has stayed out of the public eye in recent years instead content to raise horses as they are one of her first loves while maintaining active in the world of art acquisition as she constantly makes large ticket art purchases.