Former East Texas presidential candidate Ross Perot dead at 89


Ross Perot, best known for his run as an independent candidate in the 1992 presidential campaign, has died at the age of 89, according to our sister station KXAS.

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

After high school, Perot attended Texarkana Junior College and then entered the U.S. Naval Academy in 1949.

After Perot left the Navy in 1957, he went to work for IBM as a salesman. Then in 1962 he left IBM and founded Electronic Data Systems (EDS) in Dallas, Texas. EDS then went public in 1968 and the stock price rose from $16 a share to $160 a share within a few days.

Perot was featured on the 1968 cover of Fortune Magazine as the “fastest, richest Texan.”

General Motors would later buy a controlling interest in EDS for $2.4 billion.

In 1988, Perot founded Perot Systems Corporation, Inc. in Plano, Texas. His son Ross Perot Jr. succeeded him as CEO. Perot Systems was acquired by Dell corporation in 2009 for $3.9 billion.

It was in 1992 that Perot announced his intention to run as an independent for President of the United States. He spent $12.3 million of his own money and in the end, received 18.9 percent of the popular vote, but no electoral college votes, which made him the most successful third-party presidential candidate since Theodore Roosevelt in the 1912 election.

Perot ran again in 1996, but was once again unsuccessful, receiving only 8 percent of the popular vote.

Just four days before the 2000 election, Perot made an appearance on Larry King Live and endorsed George W. Bush for president, saying he was unhappy with what he had seen from the Reform Party.

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