Ross Perot, billionaire and infamous 1992 presidential candidate, died Tuesday at age 89 after a five month battle with leukemia.
Perot, a Texan, made his money as the “Bill Gates of the ‘60s,” founding the data processing company Electronic Data Systems in 1962 and becoming a millionaire when he took it public in 1968. GM bought the company in 1984, making Perot a billionaire, and though his relationship with the car company soured, he went on to have more success with Perot Systems, another IT services provider, and in projects with figures like Steve Jobs.
But it was politics where Perot made his name, becoming a national figure in 1992 when he ran for president against George Bush and Bill Clinton. He secured 18.9% of the popular vote, and though he didn’t net a single electoral vote, many believe his success cost Bush re-election. He ran again in ‘96, without as much success, and endorsed Republican candidates in subsequent presidential elections.
Aside from business and politics, Perot advocated for American POWs in Vietnam, financed a rescue mission in Iran when two of his employees were imprisoned after a contract dispute, and engaged in various humanitarian projects. He died at his home in Dallas.
Paste will have more on Perot Wednesday.