H. Ross Perot, Texas billionaire and former presidential candidate, dies aged 89

H. Ross Perot former presidential candidate dies at 89

H. Ross Perot, the feisty Texas technology billionaire who rattled USA politics with two independent presidential campaigns in the 1990s that struck a chord with disgruntled voters, died on Tuesday at the age of 89, his family said.

"Ross was a man of integrity and action, " read a statement from a family spokesman.

He would then celebrate his birthday in June this year, where he turned 89 years old.

His family also posted a full obituary on his official website.

Perot retains the title of the richest man to ever run for president, even over Donald Trump, according to Mashable. Perot ran as a third-party candidate in 1996, establishing the Reform Party, campaigning against President Clinton and Republican nominee Bob Dole.

"Ross was the unusual combination of his father, who was a powerful, big, burly cotton trader - a hard-ass, practical, cut-deals person - and a mother who was a little-bitty woman who was sweet, warm, wonderful", said Morton Meyerson, the former EDS and Perot Systems CEO.

Perot was a billionaire by his mid-50s after selling a controlling interest in the data processing business that he founded.

Perot's wealth, fame and confident prescription for the nation's economic ills propelled his 1992 campaign against President George H.W. Bush and Democratic challenger Bill Clinton.

Nancy Perot, one of his children, remembers her father fondly and wants others to remember him the same way.

Mr Perot continued to speak out about federal spending for many years. He went on to found IT provider Perot Systems and to become an angel investor in Steve Jobs' NeXT, Inc. before throwing his hat in the political ring.

In September 2011, Forbes magazine estimated Mr Perot's wealth at 3.5 billion U.S. dollars and ranked him 91 on its list of richest Americans. He netted approximately $750 million in 1986 when he resigned from the General Motors board of directors as part of a buyout agreement and sold his GM shares. He won 19 percent of the vote in 1992 and 8 percent in 1996 as an independent candidate. Running on a platform of balancing the budget and ending the foreign outsourcing of jobs, Perot captured 18.9 percent of the popular vote, drawing support from moderates on both sides of the political spectrum.

"I was down in Texas taking care of business, tending to my family, (but) this situation got so bad that I decided I better get into it", he later said during a presidential debate. Perot's credibility took a major hit after he temporarily dropped out of the race in July, and he never regained his previous levels of support despite eventually reentering the race.

But he later re-entered the race in October.

Perot was a natural salesman who made a fortune in computer services but he was an unlikely and unconventional politician.



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