Ross Perot, self-made billionaire and presidential candidate, dead at 89

Ross Perot, self-made billionaire and presidential candidate, dead at 89

Ross Perot, the eccentric and iconic self-made billionaire and computer industry giant whose two runs for president as an independent candidate shook up American politics, died Tuesday at 89, his family said.

Perot, who had battled leukemia, was surrounded by family members when he died, his family said in a statement.

This story is developing and we shall update accordingly. In 1988 he founded Perot Systems Corporation Inc.in Plano.

Perot attempted another presidential run in 1996, but was deemed to have insufficient support to participate in official debates and only garnered 8 percent of the vote.

To many in the GOP, President George H.W. Bush was the symbol for a Republican Party of the past - out of tune with the rising religious right, broken promises like supporting new taxes, and supportive of Wall Street in free trade deals. He netted $1.5 billion selling it to General Motors In 1986 and sold his computer services firm, Perot Systems, to Dell Computer for $3.9 billion, netting $800 million, according to Forbes.

Mr Perot, a prominent philanthropist, broke from the Republican Party in the early 1990s and launched the Reform Party in 1995. It was the second time he ran as a third-party candidate.

Perot continued to speak out about federal spending for many years. Barely three months after that now famous night of February 20, 1992, when he first announced his willingness on CNN's Larry King Live! to run for President, the Dallas billionaire had ridden to the top of the polls by preaching his gospel of tough love - tax hikes, budget cuts and all-around fiscal discipline.

Henry Ray Perot -he later legally changed his name to Henry Ross - was born on June 27, 1930, in Texarkana, Texas, where his father ran a cotton mill.

In September 2011, Forbes magazine estimated Mr Perot's wealth at 3.5 billion United States dollars and ranked him 91 on its list of richest Americans. "In 1968, Perot enlisted then-33-year-old Wall Streeter Ken Langone, who later co-founded Home Depot, to help take his company public".

"Perot is survived by his wife, Margot, his five children and 16 grandchildren".

Perot, like Trump, also demanded in 1996 that American allies pay more for common defense around the world. 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.

"Few people in this country have been able to live the American Dream to the extent that I have", Perot said when he re-entered, adding, "Neither political party has effectively addressed the issues that concern the American people".

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