Ross Perot, the billionaire who made his fortune in the computer services industry, has died after a five-month battle with leukemia. He was 89.
Perot founded Electronic Data Systems Corp. and sold it to G.M. for $1.5 billion in 1962. He ran for president twice in 1992 and 1996. In 1992, as an independent candidate, Ross Perot won 18.9% of the popular vote (but no electoral votes). That was the best popular vote showing ever for an independent candidate who stood alone on no third party ticket. Bill Clinton won that election in 1992.
According to Forbes’ most recent estimate, Ross Perot was worth $4.1 billion. His son, Ross Perot Jr., current CEO of the Perot group, said in a statement that “at the end of the day, he was a wonderful humanitarian. Every day he came to work trying to figure out how he could help somebody.”
Perot attempted to rescue hostages from Iran in 1979, a mission that became the basis of Ken Follet’s novel, On Wings of Eagles. He is survived by his wife Margot and his five children.