Published: Tue, July 09, 2019
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

H. Ross Perot, Politician, Businessman and Texan, Dies at 89

H. Ross Perot, Politician, Businessman and Texan, Dies at 89

Perot, running as a third-party candidate, managed to win 19.7 million votes and was blamed by some Republicans for siphoning votes away from Bush to the benefit of Clinton.

Perot was a natural salesman who made a fortune in computer services but he was an unlikely and unconventional politician.

Perot appeared in Richmond during a 1992 President Debate where he shared the stage with then President George Bush and future President Bill Clinton. Perot was born in Texarkana on June 27, 1930.

Perot continued to speak out about federal spending for many years. He took the company public in 1968, which sent its share price from $16 to $160 within days.

A billionaire by his mid-50s after he sold a controlling interest in the data processing business he founded, Electronic Data Systems Corporation, to General Motors for $2.5 billion, Perot mounted one of the most successful third-party presidential candidacies in United States history in 1992.

In 1988, Perot founded Perot Systems Corporation, Plano, Texas.

"Ross was the unusual combination of his father, who was a powerful, big, burly cotton trader - a hard-ass, practical, cut-deals person - and a mother who was a little-bitty woman who was sweet, warm, wonderful", said Morton Meyerson, the former EDS and Perot Systems CEO. A self-made billionaire with a penchant for plain-speaking in his clipped north Texas twang, he built a reputation as a savvy technology entrepreneur and spent a small fortune helping USA veterans and attempting to free American hostages overseas. Though he remained silent on political issues in his later years, Perot was an outspoken activist for military veterans for much of his life, lobbying politicians to bring home prisoners of war he believed were left behind in Vietnam, and later advocating for Gulf War veterans. The rescue team was led by retired U.S. Army Special Forces Colonel Arthur D.

Perot established Hillwood Development Company, a real estate development which changed the face and trajectory of the North Texas and northeast Tarrant County landscape.

The exploit was recounted in a book, "On Wings of Eagles", by Ken Follett, which became a best-seller. He was given many honorary degrees and awards for business success and patriotism. His personal office was dominated by large paintings of his wife and five children and bronze sculptures by Frederic Remington.

While he worked at Perot Systems in suburban Dallas, entire hallways were filled with memorabilia from soldiers and POWs that Perot had helped.

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