10 Famous Businessmen From Arkansas

Arkansas has had their fare share of famous businessmen, many of which have changed American history. Here are 10 Famous Businessmen from Arkansas.

  1. William T. Dillard (1914-2002).  This famous Arkansas businessman founded Dillards Department Stores.
     Dillard  was born in Mineral Springs Arkansas, and was  the son of a country store owner. After earning an M.A. from Columbia, Dillard opened his own department store in 1938. Today , Dillards is one of the largest major department store chains in the country.
  2. John H. Johnson (1918-2005). This famous Arkansas businessman founded Ebony and Jet magazines.
     Johnson was the first African-American to be named to the Forbes list of the 400 Richest Americans. On September 9, 1996. Johnson was awarded the "Medal of Freedom" by President Clinton.
  3. Sam Walton (1918-1992).This famous Arkansas businessman founded Wal-mart stores.  Walton founded Wal-mart in 1962. Walton was once listed as the richest man in America by Forbes Magazine.
  4. Kemmons Wilson (1913-2003). This famous Arkansas businessman founded the Holiday Inn chain of hotels.
     Wilson founded his first Holiday Inn in 1952. Wilson is said to have  revolutionized the lodging industry by making housing much more affordable.
  5. Don Tyson (b. 1930).  This famous Arkansas businessman served as President and CEO of Tyson Foods.
     Under the leadership of Tyson, Tyson foods rose to the top of the food industry. Under Tyson, Tyson Foods became the largest poultry processing company in the country.
  6. Jack Stephens (1923-2005). This famous Arkansas businessman founded the Stephens Group, a diversified family of investment and media companies.  During his life Stephens donated millions of dollars to worthy causes.
  7. H.U. Lee (1936-2000). This famous Arkansas businessman founded the American Taekwondo Association (ATA). Lee founded the ATA in Little Rock Arkansas in 1977.
  8. Paul Klipsch (1904-2002). This famous Arkansas businessman was the inventor of Klipsch speakers, which were said to have revolutionized the audio industry. Klipsch is a member of the Audio Hall of Fame, the Engineering and Science Hall of Fame.
  9. J. B. Hunt (1927-2006). This famous Arkansas businessman founded J.B. Hunt Transport. Hunt was  named Arkansan of the Year in 1990. J.B. Hunt Transport has become one of America's largest and most successful transportation logistics companies.
  10. Forrest Wood (b. 1933). This famous Arkansas businessman founded Wood Manufacturing Company. The bass fishing  tournament, the FLW Tour is named after him.
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