Texas self-made billionaire, H. Ross Perot died today at the age of 89. He ran twice for president against George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton as an Independent candidate. He received 19 percent of the vote, which was the most an Independent has ever received within a hundred years. Perot passed away early Tuesday morning surrounded by his loving family inside his home in Dallas, Texas.
H. Ross Perot came up from poverty during the Great Depression Era and was born in 1930 and grew up in Texarkana, Texas. Recently, Perot had his 89th Birthday on June 27. He started working from a young age delivering newspapers while riding his pony. When the newspaper tried to dock his pay, he did not play around. He went straight to the publisher, stated his case, and won. From that day forward, every time he had an issue, he went straight to the top of the chain of command.
Perot joined the U.S. Naval Academy, and from there, he began working with IBM in 1955, where he rose to the top salesman.
Later in life, in 1962, he became a billionaire by establishing Electronic Data Systems Corp. It was a company which helped other businesses manage their computer systems. The company was not a huge hit at first. It was not until Medicaid and Medicare started with the government in the middle part of the 1960s. The states needed help to get their programs started, and Perot had the solutions. EDS won all the contracts beginning in Texas.
Sales were not what made Perot famous. In 1979, he furnished the funds for a private raid which freed two EDS employees who were held prisoners in Iran. One of the men imprisoned, Paul Chiapparone, told reporters, “Ross came to the prison one day and said, ‘We’re going to get you out.’ How many CEOs would do that today?” The story became a book which was published and later turned into a movie.
In the 1980s, Perot angered the Regan administration by telling everyone about how the U.S. Government left behind its soldiers at the end of the Vietnam War who were imprisoned or missing in action. He went private with Vietnamese officials before the U.S. Government formally addressed the issue with the Vietnamese government.
Perot’s fame skyrocketed in the 1992 campaign against Bill Clinton and President George H.W. Bush. Many Republicans blamed Perot for George H.W. Bush losing as President Bill Clinton won the election.
Throughout his campaign, Perot used his own money to furnish TV spots which lasted for 30 minutes. His campaign costed a total of $63.5 million, and he did not use any other funds other than his own pocketbook. Perot had a famous catchphrase which became widely popular, “It’s just that simple.” Graphs and charts were used where ever he went to get his point across, and another famous phrase became, “Let me show you a chart.”
Four years later, Perot ran for the Presidential spot again but did not do well. He only earned eight percent of the votes after starting the Reform Party. Perot hoped it would become huge, but after he ran for the second time, the party fell apart.
Ross Perot kept his ideas public as he started up a webpage with the national debt rising. Charts were used for explanation, and he wrote a blog on federal spending. He blamed Republicans and Democrats alike for the high deficit and sending American jobs to Mexico. He called it, “a giant sucking ground.”
Many people do not know this or remember this, but President Trump and Ross Perot were very close friends. President Trump ran under Perot’s political party the Reform Party for president in 1999. It was President Trump’s first taste of political campaigning, but it just was not his time yet to become President of the United States. President Trump helped form the party in 1995 between him, Jesse Ventura, and Ross Perot.
Ross Perot helped veterans and received an award in 2009 from the VA for the support he gave throughout his life. He took a lot of heat after the Gulf War in the early 1990s when he funded the research for the neurological causes of the Gulf War Syndrome. Officials claimed it was just stress, but he knew better.
In an interview concerning the 2016 election, he told the announcer after he put down Hillary Clinton, “I hope the American people will wake up.”