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Ross Perot, Founder and Former CEO of Electronic Data Systems and Perot Systems, Dies At 89

Ross Perot, a self-made billionaire, independent presidential candidate, and philanthropist, has died at the age of 89 after a five-month battle with leukemia. Perot rose to fame after founding his first company, Electronic Data Systems, in 1962 with just $1,000 in savings. More than two decades later, he launched information technology services provider Perot Systems, which was acquired in 2009 by Dell for $3.9 billion. CNBC reports on his political accomplishments: As a disruptive third-party candidate for president, Perot ran on a platform of fiscal responsibility and protectionism. He won nearly 19% of the vote in the 1992 race — by far the biggest slice of the electorate for a third-party candidate since Theodore Roosevelt’s Bull Moose Party in the 1912 election. Perot stood out from the political crowd for his quirks as much as his business credentials and lack of experience in establishment politics. “I don’t have any experience in running up a $4 trillion debt. I don’t have any experience in gridlock government, where nobody takes responsibility for anything and everybody blames everybody else,” he said in a 1992 presidential debate. The shifting of U.S. jobs to Mexico created a “giant sucking sound,” he famously said during the campaign. Perot was also a bit of a pack rat, collecting everything from whimsical toys to priceless artifacts. Perot owned the only Magna Carta ever allowed to leave Great Britain, which he loaned to the National Archives in Washington, D.C., and in 2007, sold it for $20 million.


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