Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT) is the world's largest retailer and the lasting legacy of its founder, Sam Walton. While Wal-Mart's retail dominance is well known, what may be less known is how his children (and grandchildren) control the company today.

Indeed, through some smart planning decades before Wal-Mart became the behemoth it is today, Walton gave 80% of the company to his children. That early gift set the stage for the Walton family to become one of the wealthiest families on the planet. The family's stake is largely held in the family holding company Walton Enterprises and now amounts to about 50% of Wal-Mart's shares -- about $122 billion, which is enough to essentially control the company.

The slideshow below shows how Walton's gift became that multibillion-dollar family legacy.

How Walmart Made One Family Filthy Rich from The Motley Fool.

Chuck Saletta does not own shares of any company mentioned in this article. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.