H. Ross Perot, the feisty Texas technology billionaire who rattled US politics with two independent presidential campaigns in the 1990s that struck a chord with disgruntled voters, died on Tuesday at the age of 89, his family said.
Disenchanted that his bosses did not like his ideas, Perot started his own company, Electronic Data Systems Inc in Dallas, a move that would make him a billionaire by age 38 by handling data processing for customers such as the Medicare system, NASA and other government entities.
He made his fortune in the tech industry, founding Electronic Data Systems in 1962 and Perot Systems in 1988. In 1968, Perot took EDS public and became a millionaire. He was diagnosed with leukemia earlier in 2019. In 1984, he sold EDS to General Motors for an impression $2.5 billion, according to Celebrity Net Worth.
Endorsing Republicans in every election since, bar 2016, Perot returned to the world of business, selling Perot Systems to Dell for $3.9 billion in 2009.
Forbes reports that Perot was also an investor in Steve Jobs' NEXT computer company, which Jobs founded after leaving Apple in 1985.
"The only person I ever heard him speak ill of was Ross Perot", said Wallace on "America's Newsroom", recalling that Bush and his backers believed Perot's 19.7 million votes pulled much more support from him than from Clinton. Perot was the last third-party candidate to garner more than 5 percent of the national vote. He ran again in 1996.
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Perot in 1992: Perot attracted attention to his 1992 campaign as a populist folk hero figure, sinking his own money into advertising and refusing to take donations over five dollars.
During his presidential run, he treated Americans to half-hour long primetime infomercials on how he meant to fix the economy, Forbes reports. He garnered almost 19% of the vote and finished third behind Bill Clinton and incumbent President George H.W. Bush.
However, Mr Perot's ideas on trade and deficit reduction remained part of the political landscape. However, in 2005, he supported a proposal to extend technology to students, including making laptops available to them, in Texas, and testified in front of the Texas Legislature in support of the proposal.
The company's big break came in the mid-1960s when the federal government created Medicare and Medicaid, the health programmes for seniors, the disabled and the poor.
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.
The exploit was recounted in a book, "On Wings of Eagles", by Ken Follett, which became a best-seller.