Published: Wed, July 10, 2019
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

Ross Perot, Billionaire and Former Presidential Candidate, Dead at 89

Ross Perot, Billionaire and Former Presidential Candidate, Dead at 89

"Ross Perot, the ground-breaking businessman and loving husband, brother, father and grandfather, passed away early Tuesday at his home in Dallas, surrounded by his devoted family", the Perot family said in a statement.

In 1992, H. Ross Perot threw his name into the running for president of the United States against Bill Clinton and George H.W. Bush, receiving 19% of the vote.

In 1995, Perot created the Reform Party, and the following year received 8% of the vote in the presidential election as the party's candidate. Perot did not fare almost as well in the 1996 election, when he only received 8 percent of the popular vote - less than half his total from 1992, although still a larger figure than any other third-party candidate earned in the subsequent 20 years.

A billionaire by his mid-50s after he sold a controlling interest in the data processing business he founded to General Motors for US$2.5 billion, Perot's foray into presidential politics made him one of the more colourful political figures of the 1990s.

However, Perot's ideas on trade and deficit reduction remained part of the political landscape.

Ross Perot was born in June of 1930.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott also weighed in on Perot's passing (via The Seattle Times): "Ross Perot exemplified what it means to be a Texan and an American".

According to the paper, "As of July, Forbes estimated Perot's wealth at $4.1 billion, making him the 478th-richest person in the world". Perot took EDS public in 1968. Perot was the last third-party candidate to garner more than 5 percent of the national vote.

Described as idiosyncratic and feisty, he pioneered the computer data industry by founding his own company in 1962.

"In business and in life, Ross was a man of integrity and action".

Following his second and final bid for the presidency, Perot served as president and CEO of Perot Systems Corporation, which he founded in 1988.

They were then sneaked out of the country, along with other EDS employees. The resulting rescue was retold in a book by Ken Follett, which became a 1986 mini-series called On Wings of Eagles. Throughout his lifetime, Perot championed the cause of American military service members and prisoners of war. His personal office was dominated by large paintings of his wife and five children and bronze sculptures by Frederic Remington.

"I didn't get done what I hoped I'd get done" Perot told USA Today.

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