HBCU’s Wealthiest Graduate Revealed—and It’s Not Oprah Winfrey

Daughter of Walmart co-founder comes in as wealthiest graduate of a predominately black college

Image: File

Yes, you read that correctly!

While HBCUs have a track record of producing highly successful individuals in all career fields—media mogul Oprah Winfrey is a prime example—it seems that we’ve allowed one graduate on Forbes billionaire list to slip through the cracks.

Ann Walton Kroenke is a nursing school graduate of Lincoln University in Missouri and is reportedly worth more than $4 billion.

Kroenke is the daughter of James “Bud” Walton, who co-founded Walmart with his older brother, Sam Walton, in the 1960s. After his death in 1995, Walton left Ann and her sister Nancy enough shares from the retail giant to make each of them billionaires. But as if that wasn’t enough, Kroenke is also heavily affiliated with major sports franchises. Her husband Stan is the CEO of Kroenke Sports Enterprises, and together they own the NBA’s Denver Nuggets, the NHL’s Colorado Avalanche, the NFL’s St. Louis Rams and the soccer club Arsenal.


  • Sharon

    While she may be a billionaire, she has not earned her wealth. Unlike Oprah Winfrey, her wealth is inherited. So at the end of the day, she should not be included in the statistics.

    • DL Gardner

      Actually, wealth in America has a lot to do with inheritance and less to do with hard work. I agree, Oprah is an exception but not the measuring stick.

      • Chiryder

        doesn’t make it right.

  • The study is about wealthy Grads, and their’s no criteria specifying how they made their money. Much like the Forbes list is based purely on numbers and you have entrepreneurs, royalty, dictators, etc. Oprah is likely to be the wealthiest self-made individual to graduate from a HBCU

  • Tae’lur Alexis

    oh..oh my. Lincoln? Well dizaaammm. I’m going to Bethune C00kman University so #HBCUGreatness

  • Jarrett Carter Sr.

    Ouch. No attribution for the original outlet reporting this, HBCUMoney.com?

  • Dr. A

    While this is an interesting article, I am sad to see that no credit was given to the original article reporting this story in HBCU Money. This ethical blunder is dissappointing to say the least. Black Enterprise…I expect more from you. We should support each other, not snatch and run. See original report by William Foster, IV here: http://hbcumoney.com/2014/10/21/the-wealthiest-hbcu-graduate-hint-it-is-not-oprah-winfrey/

  • Professor LB

    What are we teaching our youth about ethics? While I believe the information in this article is very important, I read it first and literally word for word in HBCU Money. I am sure that if you had asked the original author to run his article in BE he would not have objected. As a University Professor, I am always vigilant about teaching my students about giving credit to those who laid the ground for their work. Black Enterprise I am embarrassed and disappointed and I would hope that you would make it right not just for the author but for others aspiring authors that should learn the right way. I will be watching for a response which will determine my future readings of your works.

  • Shaebod


    To reiterate some of the comments below, this article is missing s critical note, the original author. Several HBCU students, alumni, enthusiast, and supporters follow HBCU Money and its concern with the financial aspects of these institutions. Perhaps, it’s best to give credit where it is due.

  • Dr. Danielle Sutton

    As an avid follower of Black Enterprise, I am completely disheartened by the lack of transparency and honesty with the reporting of this article. The blatant omission of the original source by William A. Foster, IV from HBCU Money, speaks volumes to the lack of character and ethics of the company and editorial board. Hopefully, Black Enterprise will correct this error and address the journalistic travesty that has occured. A statement of the omission and article correction to include the original source are necessary gestures to correct this wrong.

  • Mi

    That was the most ridiculous, misleading article one could ever toss under the title “Be Smart”, regardless of alma mater.

  • Chiryder

    So that HBCU taught her to, what, marry well and come from money?

  • Barry organ

    I should hope she give back
    HBCU’S needs the help. Right on Sister.