Ross Perot, American 2-Time Presidential Hopeful, Dead at 89

Presidential hopeful H. Ross Perot speaks at a rally in Austin Texas in this 1992 file

Ross Perot, the two-time third-party presidential candidate, died at 89 after battling leukemia for five months.

Family spokesman James Fuller says Perot died early Tuesday. "He will be missed greatly", Ross Mulford of Petrus Asset Management Company said in a statement. He was sadly diagnosed with leukemia back in February of this year (2019).

The Texas businessman was born in Texarkana in 1930 and graduated from Texas High School in 1947.

Perot became a billionaire by founding a pioneering company in the computer data industry called Electronic Data Systems in 1962.

But Perot went further than other politicians to use evening cable news as a venue to lay out his case (sound familiar yet?). Perot took EDS public in 1968.

In the end, Perot earned almost 20 percent of the popular vote, the largest total for a third-party candidate in more than 50 years. The stock rose from $16 a share to $160 a share within a handful of days.

"Meeting Ross Perot was the single biggest event in my career", Langone said.

In 1992, he jumped into the presidential campaign as an independent, challenging the Republican president George HW Bush and Democrat Bill Clinton.

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In 1984, he sold control of the company to General Motors Corp. for $2.5 billion and received $700 million in a buyout. His second presidential bid in 1996 was even more remarkably unsuccessful, as he finished with just 8 percent of the total vote after many voters became unconvinced by his autocratic tendencies.

Aside from business and politics, Perot advocated for American POWs in Vietnam, financed a rescue mission in Iran when two of his employees were imprisoned after a contract dispute, and engaged in various humanitarian projects.

Though the precise addresses are not publicly known, Perot's vacation homes were located in a wealthy enclave in Tucker's Town, where his neighbors included former New York City mayor and fellow billionaire Michael Bloomberg, as the New York Times reported.

Perot also received national attention for his efforts during the Vietnam War to create better conditions for United States prisoners of war.

For years, Bush blamed Perot for his defeat, saying in a 2012 HBO documentary that he believed Perot "cost me the election".

In Texas, Perot led commissions on education reform and crime. The adventure was recalled in Ken Follett's best-selling book "On Wings of Eagles" and a TV miniseries.

Perot is survived by his wife and his five children, as well as numerous grandchildren and step-grandchildren.

Several original Norman Rockwell paintings hung in the waiting area, and Perot once told a visiting reporter that he tried to live by Rockwell's ethics of hard, honest work and family.

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