Wednesday 16 October 2019

Billionaire presidential candidate Perot dies

 

Colourful: Ross Perot’s wealth and fame helped propel him into politics. AP Photo/Ed Zurga, File
Colourful: Ross Perot’s wealth and fame helped propel him into politics. AP Photo/Ed Zurga, File

David Koenig

Ross Perot, the colourful, self-made Texas billionaire who twice ran for US president as a third-party candidate, has died aged 89.

Mr Perot died in Dallas surrounded by his devoted family, spokesman James Fuller said.

His 19pc of the vote in the 1992 election stands among the best showings by an independent candidate in the past century of American history and is widely thought to have helped Bill Clinton defeat incumbent George HW Bush.

As a boy in Texarkana, Texas, Mr Perot delivered newspapers from the back of a pony.

He earned his billions in a more modern way, however - becoming a salesman for IBM, then creating and building Electronic Data Systems Corp, which helped other companies manage their computer networks.

Yet the most famous event in his career was when he financed a private commando raid in 1979 to free two of his employees who were being held in a prison in Iran.

Mr Perot's wealth, fame and confident prescription for economic ills propelled his 1992 campaign against Mr Bush and Mr Clinton.

Mr Perot's second campaign four years later was far less successful, gaining 8pc of the vote.

Irish Independent

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