Thursday, 22 August, 2019

Ross Perot, billionaire and ex-presidential candidate, dies at 89

Presidential hopeful H. Ross Perot speaks at a rally in Austin Texas in this 1992 file U.S. billionaire Ross Perot, who shook up 1990s presidential politics, dead at 89
Patty Aguilar | 09 July, 2019, 20:00

"A true American patriot and a man of rare vision, principle and deep compassion, he touched the lives of countless people through his unwavering support of the military and veterans and through his charitable endeavors", Fuller said in a statement.

Ross Perot listens to a reporter's question during a news conference before accepting the Command and General Staff College Foundation's 2010 Distinguished Leadership Award Tuesday, April 20, 2010, in Kansas City, Mo.

Perot was a life-long Texan from Texarkana who entered the U.S. Naval Academy in 1949 and served until 1957.

According to an entry on the Entrepreneur's Hall of Fame, Perot was born in Texarkana, Texas, to Lula May Perot and Gabriel Ross Perot, a commodity broker specializing in cotton contracts.

During a presidential debate in the 1992 race opposite George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton, Perot scored a major laugh line with a nod to his appearance.

In the end, Perot earned almost 20 percent of the popular vote, the largest total for a third-party candidate in more than 50 years. EDS then went public in 1968 and the stock price rose from $16 a share to $160 a share within a few days.

Ross Perot wanted to run the country much like he ran his billion-dollar business. In 1988 he founded Perot Systems Corporation Inc.in Plano. 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 United States veterans and attempting to free American hostages overseas. Perot ran again in 1996, garnering more than 8 percent of the popular vote.

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Just prior to the 1979 Iranian Revolution, the government of Iran imprisoned two EDS employees in a contract dispute. "Ross Perot epitomized the entrepreneurial spirit and the American creed".

"Texas and America have lost a strong patriot", former President George W. Bush, the son of Perot's 1992 GOP opponent, said Tuesday. "I'm a better person because he was in my life". He was blunt and assertive and his success in business made him accustomed to getting his way.

Perot's survivors include his wife, Margot, who he married in 1956.

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

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

H Ross Perot was an American original.

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