Billionaire and former USA presidential candidate Ross Perot dies

Billionaire and former USA presidential candidate Ross Perot dies

Billionaire and former USA presidential candidate Ross Perot dies

In 1984, he sold that company, EDS, to General Motors for $2.5 billion.

"Ross was the unusual combination of his father, who was a powerful, big, burly cotton trader - a hard-ass, practical, cut-deals person - and a mother who was a little-bitty woman who was sweet, warm, wonderful", Morton H. Meyerson, the former EDS and Perot Systems president and CEO said.

After graduating from the US Naval Academy and spending four years in the military, Perot worked for IBM, selling computers in Texas.

He again ran for the White House in 1996 as the Reform Party nominee but finished a distant third with 8 percent of the vote, well behind the GOP's Bob Dole and Clinton, who was re-elected. Perot then founded Perot Systems Corp.in Plano, Texas.

Perot has also penned several books over the years, including "Ross Perot: My Life & the Principles for Success", "United We Stand", and his very own autobiography, "Ross Perot: My Life". He turned the company over to son Ross Jr. and Dell bought it in 2009 for $3.9 billion.

Having built a personal fortune in computer services, the Texarkana native became a national figure in the late 1960s through attempts to deliver supplies to American POWs in North Vietnam. He traveled to Laos, where he met with ambassadors from Russian Federation and North Vietnam, and was awarded the Medal for Distinguished Public Service by the Department of Defense in 1974 for his efforts.

Perot was so gung-ho that when two of his employees were jailed in Iran in 1978, he organized a team of commandos from his employees and hired a former Green Beret colonel to break them out.

"In business and in life, Ross was a man of integrity and action", his family's statement said. "He lived a long and honorable life".

Perot's first campaign caused a rift between him and the Bush family, but on Tuesday George W. Bush, the 43rd president hailed him as an American icon.

Nancy Perot, one of his children, remembers her father fondly and wants others to remember him the same way.

And, more generally, Perot used television a lot for his campaign. Perot, a businessman who founded Electronic Data Systems Corp. and Perot Systems Corp., had battled leukemia for five months, the newspaper said. Speaking to CNN's Larry King in 1992, he said that if he were to launch a campaign, he would run as an independent and "get both parties' heads straight". Perot's credibility took a major hit after he temporarily dropped out of the race in July, and he never regained his previous levels of support despite eventually reentering the race. His withdrawal came shortly after he stumbled during a speech at the NAACP, where his comments on unemployment were interpreted as patronizing and insensitive.

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