Texas billionaire H. Ross Perot dies at 89, Former presidential candidate Ross Perot dies, businessman and philanthropist Ross Perot death. Perot, who ran for president in 1992 and 1996, died after a five-month battle with leukemia, said James Fuller, a representative for the Perot family.
H. Ross Perot, the colorful, self-made Texas billionaire who rose from a childhood of Depression-era poverty and twice ran for president as a third-party candidate, has died. The cause of death was leukemia, a family spokesman said Tuesday.
He made his billions through his computer systems work, starting his career at IBM before leaving to found Electronic Data Systems, an information technology and services company. Early in his life, he served in the Navy, before returning home and making the treatment of veterans and prisoners of war a part of his later activism work.
The son of a Texarkana, Texas, cotton broker, Perot (b. 1930) got his start selling Christmas cards, garden seeds and newspapers. Perot was an early tech entrepreneur who founded his first company, Electronic Data Systems, in 1962 with $1,000 in savings.
“Most people give up just when they’re about to achieve success,” Mr. Perot liked to say. “They quit on the one-yard line. They give up at the last minute of the game one foot from a winning touchdown.”
In 1995, Perot created the Reform Party, and the following year received 8% of the vote in the presidential election as the party's candidate. Perot served as president and CEO of Perot Systems Corporation, which he founded in 1988. He was the head of the company until 2000, when he passed the title on to his son, Ross Perot Jr.
"Texas and America have lost a strong patriot. Ross Perot epitomized the entrepreneurial spirit and the American creed. He gave selflessly of his time and resources to help others in our community, across our country, and around the world.
— Vice President Mike Pence (@VP) July 9, 2019