Ross Perot, Billionaire Third-Party Presidential Candidate, Dies at 89

Former Presidential candidate Ross Perot dies at 89

Ross Perot is shown on a screen in a paid 30-minute television commercial, during a media preview in Dallas on October 16, 1992. "For that, we remain grateful".

"This was possibly my first example of government waste", he wrote. Dallas area media are reporting that Perot died following a months long battle with leukemia. Perot and his running mate, retired Vice Admiral James Stockdale, backed out of the race in July but still won 19% of the vote. In later years, Perot endorsed Republican candidates including George W. Bush and Mitt Romney.

Henry Ross Perot was born on June 27, 1930, in Texarkana, Texas, and raised in the height of the Depression.

Perot graduated from the Naval Academy in 1953 and spent four years at sea.

Perot's first civilian job was a salesman for IBM.

Perot started out in the computer business in the early 1960s, founding Electronic Data Systems 1962 with $1,000 he had saved.

In 1992, Perot tried to translate his business success to politics, launching an independent bid for the presidency. "All of a sudden the box office door would burst open and Mr. Perot would come running through the theatre and go, 'How's the theatre, '" Goesl said, adding sometimes Perot would be dressed up and wearing his hat and other times in a pair of shorts.

General Motors would later buy a controlling interest in EDS for $2.4 billion. He and GM soon parted company, however. In 2009, Dell acquired the company for $3.9 million. Last year, Forbes pegged his net worth at $4.2 billion.

Ross Perot was then a 56-year-old businessman.

Perot also once attempted to fly food and medicine to prisoners of war in North Vietnam in 1969 and staged a commando raid in Iran during the country's revolution in 1979. More importantly, however, Ross Perot was a devoted husband, family man, and servant of God. The tale was turned into a book and a movie. Perot returned to the campaign in the fall. He still was engaged in bettering the conditions of United States prisoners in the Vietnam War.

Perot chose to focus his 1992 campaign on domestic and not foreign policy.

NAYLOR: His signature issue was the federal budget deficit. Political and social anger was growing, particularly in the wake of the union-busting of the 1980s, assisted everywhere by the AFL-CIO bureaucracy. In one debate, he uttered another ideal phrase when he predicted that the new North American Free Trade Agreement would create a "giant sucking sound" as it yanked to Mexico.

I've long held that, while Mr. Perot's bid for the Presidency was honest and his love for this country genuine, he unwittingly gave us the Clinton Presidency. In the final weeks, there were indications that the momentum of the contest was shifting toward Clinton.

Stories of Perot's strong connection to Texarkana College and Perot Theatre were shared. This time around, in the middle of the speculative 1990s boom presided over by Clinton, his message had worn thin, nor was it much needed by the ruling elite.

In 1996, Perot founded the Reform party and ran for president again, winning 8% of the vote as Clinton beat Bob Dole.

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