Texas billionaire H. Ross Perot dies at 89

Ross Perot: billionaire who ran for president dies aged 89

Ross Perot, the Texas billionaire who in 1992 was the most successful third-party candidate for president since Theodore Roosevelt, died Tuesday at 89.

The former candidate died at his Dallas home on Tuesday surrounded by family members, according to a statement released by his family.

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

The Texas businessman was born in Texarkana in 1930 and graduated from Texas High School in 1947. After attending the U.S. Naval Academy and becoming a salesman for IBM, he went his own way - creating and building Electronic Data Systems Corp., which helped other companies manage their computer networks.

After graduation, he served four years in the Navy where he fell in love with a young teacher named Margot Birmingham, who would become his wife. In 1968, Perot took EDS public and became a millionaire. His folksy pitch gobbled up a staggering 19% of the vote in 1992 - a number unlikely ever be reached again by a third-party presidential candidate. The stock rose from $16 a share to $160 a share within a handful of days.

"Outside of the business world, Americans got to know Ross Perot. after he accused the United States of leaving behind hundreds of American soldiers after the Vietnam war".

Perot's fortune was estimated at $4.1 billion by Forbes magazine in April 2019.

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He had founded EDS in 1962 and sold control of it to General Motors for 2.5 billion USA dollars in 1984.

For his 1996 White House run, Perot started the Reform Party but captured little more than 8 percent of the popular vote, as well as causing a rift in the political movement he founded.

Aside from his endorsements of Bush and Romney, Perot has mostly remained quiet on topics of politics over the last few decades.

When two of his employees were jailed in Iran in 1979 over a contract dispute - just before the Islamic revolution - he financed a private commando rescue in a raid that inspired a book and a film.

Perot had given millions of dollars towards charities, including the Teach For America program. Perot then founded Perot Systems Corp.in Plano, Texas.

He first entered the national spotlight with efforts on behalf of U.S. prisoners of war in Vietnam.

While Trump found himself in the late summer of 2016 dumping Paul Manafort and installing Kellyanne Conway as his campaign manager, Perot fired his ad maker, which led to a major strategist quitting the campaign. He was blunt and assertive and his success in business made him accustomed to getting his way. One thing though, GM forgot to get a noncompete agreement from Perot. He is survived by five children.

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