DALLAS, Texas, July 9, 2019 (UPI) — Two-time independent presidential candidate and self-made billionaire H. Ross Perot died after a five-month battle with leukemia.
He was 89.
“In business and in life, Ross was a man of integrity and action,” family representative James Fuller said in a statement. “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.”
He was a life-long Texan from Texarkana who entered the U.S. Naval Academy in 1949 and served until 1957. Then, he worked as a salesman for IBM. He founded Electronic Data Systems in Dallas in 1962. He took the company public in 1968, sending the stock price soaring from $16 a share to $160 a share in a matter of days.
General Motors bought a controlling interest in EDS for $2.4 billion. Perot then founded Perot Systems Corp. in Plano, Texas. His son Ross Perot Jr. took over as CEO and the company was acquired by Dell Corp. in 2009 for $3.9 billion.
Perot ran for president as an independent in 1992, spending $12.3 million of his own money and receiving 18.9 percent of the popular vote but no Electoral College votes. He ran again in 1996 but only got 8 percent of the popular vote.