Billionaire and former presidential candidate Ross Perot is dead at 89

Independent presidential candidate and rich philanthropist Ross Perot has handed away at the age of 89, after a battle with leukemia.

Perot handed away on Tuesday, survived by his spouse Margot, 5 youngsters, and 16 grandchildren.

“Ross was a person of integrity and motion,” learn a press release from a household spokesman. “A true American patriot and a person of uncommon imaginative and prescient, precept and deep compassion, he touched the lives of numerous folks by his unwavering assist of the army and veterans and by his charitable endeavors.”

An early tech entrepreneur, Perot based his first firm – Electronic Data Systems – in 1962 with $1,000 of his personal financial savings. Two a long time later, General Motors would buy a controlling curiosity in the corporate for $2.four billion.

Perot is finest recognized for mounting the most profitable unbiased presidential marketing campaign in historical past in 1992. Running on a platform of balancing the price range and ending the international outsourcing of jobs, Perot captured 18.9 p.c of the favored vote, drawing assist from moderates on either side of the political spectrum. Republicans, nonetheless, accused Perot of siphoning votes away from then-incumbent President George H.W. Bush and facilitating a victory for Bill Clinton.

Perot established the Reform Party and ran for the presidency once more in 1996, however didn’t recapture his 1992 momentum and gained eight p.c of the vote.

Endorsing Republicans in each election since, bar 2016, Perot returned to the world of enterprise, promoting Perot Systems to Dell for $3.9 billion in 2009. Though he remained silent on political points in his later years, Perot was an outspoken activist for army veterans for a lot of his life, lobbying politicians to carry house prisoners of struggle he believed had been left behind in Vietnam, and later advocating for Gulf War veterans.

He would ultimately be honored for this activism, receiving an award from then-Secretary of Veteran Affairs James Peake in 2009. Peake commented at the time that Perot’s advocacy embodied “the very spirit of America.”