Ross Perot, Billionaire and Former Presidential Candidate, Dead at 89

10 Juillet, 2019, 04:14 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • Presidential hopeful H. Ross Perot speaks at a rally in Austin Texas in this 1992 file

Undeclared candidate for President of the United States Ross Perot holds a press conference in Annapolis, Maryland, USA, on June 24, 1992. In 1962 he met his yearly sales quota by January 19.

His attack on Washington corruption and free trade policies arguably paved the way for President Trump's candidacy, although there are obviously many differences between the two candidates: Trump ran from within the Republican party rather than as a third-party candidate, and he replaced Perot's folksy Texas wisdom with his harsher NY tone and insults. "But at the end of the day, he was a wonderful humanitarian".

Young Perot's first job was delivering papers in a poor, mostly black part of town from his pony, Miss Bee. The company grew quickly, and when the company went public in 1968, Fortune magazine put Perot on its cover, calling him the "fastest, richest Texan". In 1962, he founded Electronic Data System, and in 1984, General Motors acquired interest in the company for $2.4 million.

Aside from his business and political careers, Perot also received national attention for his efforts during the Vietnam War to create better conditions for USA prisoners of war.

Perot's was truly a grassroots campaign.

After their release in 1973, some prisoners said conditions in the camps had improved after the failed missions.

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"In business and in life, Ross was a man of integrity and action", his family's statement said. A few days later, the EDS executives walked free after the shah's regime fell and mobs stormed the prison. According to the non-fiction book "On Wings of Eagles" by Ken Follett, an Iranian EDS employee helped lead a revolutionary mob's attack on the prison, allowing the EDS employees to escape. Simons' men sneaked the executives out of the country and into Turkey. Characterizing himself as an antidote to hyper-partisanship, Perot walked the line on social issues; he refused to support overturning the gay service ban in the military or consider appointing a member of the LGBTQ community to his Cabinet. He scoffed at officials who blamed the illnesses on stress - "as if they are wimps" - and paid for additional research.

He would eventually be honored for this activism, receiving an award from then-Secretary of Veteran Affairs James Peake in 2009.

In Texas, Perot led commissions on education reform and crime.

"Perot is survived by his wife, Margot; their five children and spouses, Ross Jr. and Sarah Perot; Nancy Perot and Rod Jones; Suzanne and Patrick K. McGee; Carolyn and Dr. Karl Rathjen; and Katherine and Eric Reeves; 16 grandchildren: Hill, Hunter, Sarah Catherine, Meredith, Ross, Price, Benjamin, Clayton, Patrick, William, Margot, Cameron, Henry, Bette, Kate and Stuart; and his sister, Bette Perot".

"I didn't get done what I hoped I'd get done" Perot told USA Today.

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