Roosevelt Library backers look to Walmart heir, big oil
BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — An heir to the Walmart fortune, a wealthy governor and oil companies could fund a big chunk of the private money needed for a Theodore Roosevelt Presidential Library in North Dakota’s western Badlands.
It’s unclear how much might come from the Roosevelt family.
North Dakota lawmakers recently approved $50 million in public money for the project, but it must be matched by $100 million in private money.
The library foundation says it has $52 million in pledges. It’s widely believed most of that is from former Walmart Chairman Rob Walton and his wife, Melani. She declined comment.
North Dakota Petroleum Council President Ron Ness expects “substantial” money from the energy industry.
A spokesman says Gov. Doug Burgum also will contribute. Burgum sold a company to Microsoft in 2001 for $1.1 billion.