Former Two-Time Presidential Candidate Ross Perot Dead At 89

Self-made billionaire and two-time presidential candidate Ross Perot passes at age 89.

source: Wikimedia Commons

After a five-month-long battle with leukemia, reports out of Texas, by the Dallas Morning News, confirms that self-made billionaire Ross Perot passed away early Tuesday.  A statement by the family spokesman James Fuller, said that Perot was surrounded by his family when he passed.

Perot is known to many as the man who made a bid for the presidency not once, but twice, in 1992 and 1996.  During his 1992 bid, he won a whopping 19 percent of the vote, running as a third-party candidate.  Perot was seen by many as someone who at a patriot, and as such was highly admired.  He served his country well, even though he lost both attempts towards the presidency.

A native-born Texan, Perot was indeed a self-made billionaire, having founded Electronic Data Systems Corp.  He began his company in 1962, with a loan of just $1,000 from his wife.  Many of his employees consisted of former military men, and he kept them to a strict dress code—white shirts, ties, and no beards or mustaches.  Some of them even had a crew cut, just like Perot. 

Perot sold control of EDS in 1984, to General Motors Corp for $25 billion and also received a buyout of $700 million.  Before that, he is also known for having two EDS employees, being held in an Iranian prison, to be freed and rescued by personally financing the private commandos that made the raid. 

Perot then went on to create another computer services company, that of Perot Systems Corp.  Having retired from his position of CEO in 2000, he handed the reigns of the business over to his son, Ross Perot, Jr, who then in 2009 sold the company to Dell, Inc.

During his 1992 presidential run against George HW Bush and Bill Clinton, Perot spent an estimated $60 million of his own money.  He ran his campaign on the guarantee that he would bring what he knew of business in aid to the nation's finances.  IT has long been said that he is the reason that Bush lost to Clinton, as he pulled such a large number of votes through the third-party voters.

His next campaign, in 1996, didn't fare quite as well and pretty much fizzled.  He was only able to obtain 8 percent of the vote, as the very party he founded and hoped to see become a genuine political force, the Reform Party began to decline and eventually fall apart.

Forbes magazine estimated Perot's wealth in September of 2011 as being $3.5 billion, landing him the 91st spot on the magazine's list of wealthiest Americans.

So, what’s the verdict—you decide.

Will Perot continue to be thought of as the man who threw the monkey wrench into Bush’s second term?