DALLAS (AP) — H. Ross Perot, the colorful, self-made Texas billionaire who rose from a childhood of Depression-era poverty and twice ran for president as a third-party candidate, has died. He was 89.
Perot, whose 19% of the vote in 1992 stands among the best showings by an independent candidate in the past century, died early Tuesday at his home in Dallas surrounded by his devoted family, family spokesman James Fuller said.
As a boy in Texarkana, Texas, Perot delivered newspapers from the back of a pony. He earned his billions in a more modern way, however — by building Electronic Data Systems Corp., which helped other companies manage their computer networks.
Yet the most famous event in his career didn't involve sales and earnings; he financed a private commando raid in 1979 to free two EDS employees who were being held in a prison in Iran. The tale was turned into a book and a movie.
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Doris Day, one of the most beloved actresses and singers of the 20th century, died on May 13 at the age of 97 from complications of pneumonia. She is pictured here in 1989 when she received the Cecil B. DeMille Award at the annual Golden Globe Awards.
John Singleton was a film director, screenwriter, and producer best known for directing "Boyz n the Hood," for which he received an Oscar nomination. He died April 29 at age 51 after suffering a stroke that reportedly left him in a coma for nearly two weeks. He is pictured here in 2018.
Peter Tork, best known as the keyboardist and bass guitarist of The Monkees, died Feb. 21 at age 77 after a 10-year battle with a rare salivary glands cancer. He is pictured on the left in 1967 and on the right in 2016.
Writer Jeraldine Saunders, creator of the TV show "The Love Boat," died Feb. 25 at age 96 after suffering complications from kidney stone surgery.
Carol Channing -- the celebrated actress, singer, dancer, and comedian -- died Jan. 15 at age 97 from natural causes. She's known for starring in Broadway and film musicals like "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes" and "Hello Dolly." She is pictured here in 2007.
Pegi Young, singer-songwriter and noted philanthropist, died from cancer on Jan. 1 at age 66. She is known for her music and founding the Bridge School, an education program for children with physical and speech impairments. She is pictured here in 2014.
Bob Einstein was a writer, actor, and comedian known for his roles on "Arrested Development," "Curb Your Enthusiasm," as well as his character Super Dave Osborne. He died Jan. 2 at age 76 from leukemia. He is pictured here in 2018.
Actor Tim Conway died May 14 at age 85 from complications of normal pressure hydrocephalus. Conway was a star of "The Carol Burnett Show," and was known for his roles as Ensign Parker in the 1960s sitcom "McHale's Navy," Dorf from the comedy film series "Dorf," and Barnacle Boy from "Spongebob Squarepants." He is pictured here in 1983.
Gloria Vanderbilt, the fashion icon, heiress, and artist, died June 17 at the age of 95 from stomach cancer. She is pictured here in 1964. She began her extraordinary life as the "poor little rich girl" of the Great Depression, survived family tragedy and multiple marriages and reigned during the 1970s and '80s as a designer jeans pioneer. She is also the mother of journalist Anderson Cooper.
H. Ross Perot, the colorful, self-made Texas billionaire who twice ran for president, died July 9 at age 89 after a five-month battle with leukemia. He is pictured here in 2014.
Actor Cameron Boyce died July 6 at age 20. He was known for his roles in the Disney Channel movie franchise "Descendants" and the TV show "Jessie." A spokesperson for his family told CNN that Boyce died in his sleep after a seizure resulting from an ongoing medical condition. He is pictured here in 2018 in a photo he shared on Instagram.
Lee Iacocca, who helped create the Ford Mustangs and then rescued Chrysler from near-bankruptcy in the 1980s, died July 2 at age 94 from Parkinson's disease. He is pictured here in 2007.
Beth Chapman, wife of Duane "Dog the Bounty Hunter" Chapman, lost her two-year battle with throat and lung cancer on June 26. She was 51. The couple (pictured together) starred on the A&E reality show "Dog the Bounty Hunter," which ran from 2004 to 2012.
Actress Peggy Lipton, star of "Mod Squad" and "Twin Peaks," died May 11 at age 72 from colon cancer. She is pictured here in 2018.
Actor Peter Mayhew, known for playing the beloved character of Chewbacca in the original "Star Wars" trilogy and two other films, died April 30 from a heart attack. He was 74.
Famous paranormal investigator Lorraine Warren died April 18 at age 92. Her exact cause of death was not announced, but family said she died in her sleep. Warren and her husband Ed, who died in 2006, inspired "The Conjuring" and "The Amityville Horror" franchises. She is pictured here in 2016.
Kenyan journalist Soni Methu, the former host of CNN's "Inside Africa," died April 11 at the age of 34. She collapsed suddenly in Kenya and died en route to the hospital, her sister, Faith Methu, said in a statement.
Ermias Joseph Asghedom, known professionally as Nipsey Hussle, was an American rapper, entrepreneur, and community activist from Los Angeles. He was shot and killed in front of a store he owned March 31. He was 33. He is pictured here in 2018.
Luke Perry, who gained instant heartthrob status as wealthy rebel Dylan McKay on "Beverly Hills, 90210," died March 4 after suffering a massive stroke, his publicist said. He was 52. Perry was also known for his role as Fred Andrews on the TV show "Riverdale." He is pictured here in 2018.
Pro-wrestling interviewer Eugene "Mean Gene" Okerlund died Jan. 2 at age 76 after his health began to decline following a bad fall at home. His son told TMZ his father suffered multiple broken ribs from the fall. "Mean Gene" Okerlund's deadpan interviews of pro-wrestling superstars like "Macho Man" Randy Savage, The Ultimate Warrior and Hulk Hogan made him a ringside fixture in his own right. He is pictured here in 2017.
Shirley Boone, the longtime wife of singer Pat Boone as well as a philanthropist, died Jan. 11 at age 84. She suffered complications from vasculitis, a rare inflammation of the blood vessels, which she had contracted less than a year before her death. The couple is pictured here in 2014.
Daryl Dragon, of the singing duo The Captain and Tennille, died Jan. 2 of kidney failure at age 76. The duo is pictured here in 1995. Tennille, his former wife and musical partner, was by his side.
John Coughlin, a two-time U.S. pairs figure skating champion, died Jan. 18 at age 33. His sister said he took his own life. He is pictured here in 2013 with Caydee Denney, performing during their Pairs Short Program during the ISU Figure Skating Eric Bompard Trophy at Bercy arena in Paris.
Comedian and creator of the TV show "Rel" Kevin Barnett died Jan. 22 at age 32 from pancreatitis complications. He is pictured here in 2018.
"The Young and the Restless" actor Kristoff St. John died Feb. 3 at age 52 from hypertrophic heart disease, with other contributing factors including alcohol. His death was ruled an accident. From 1991 to 2019, he portrayed the role of Neil Winters on "The Young and the Restless," which earned him 11 Daytime Emmy Award nominations, two Emmy Awards, and 10 NAACP Image Awards.
R&B singer James Ingram died Jan. 29 at age 66 after a long battle with brain cancer. He was a two-time Grammy Award winner and a two-time Academy Award nominee for Best Original Song. He is seen here in 2013.
American-Pakistani chef Fatima Ali died Jan. 25 at age 29 after losing her battle against a rare form of bone cancer. Ali came in seventh on season 15 of Bravo's "Top Chef," but won the Fan Favorite title when the season ended. She is pictured here on the show in 2018.
Lee Radziwill, the stylish jet setter, socialite, former princess and the younger sister of former first lady Jackie Kennedy, died Feb. 15 of natural causes. She was 85. She is pictured here in 2017.
British actor Albert Finney died Feb. 7 at age 82 from a chest infection. His starring roles included in films like "Tom Jones," "Murder on the Orient Express," "Under the Volcano" and "Erin Brockovich." He received five Academy Awards nomination and 13 BAFTA nominations, winning two.
Actor Nathaniel Taylor, best known for playing "Rollo" on the 1970s hit sitcom "Sanford and Son," died Feb. 27 at age 80 after suffering a heart attack. He is pictured here as his character Rollo in 1974.
Golden Globe-winning actress Katherine Helmond died Feb. 23 at age 89 from Alzheimer's disease. She was a frequent scene-stealer on shows such as "Who's the Boss?" and "Soap."
Karl Lagerfeld, the creative director of Chanel from 1983 until his death, died Feb. 19 at age 85 from pancreatic cancer. He is pictured here in 2015. Lagerfeld's designs quickly trickled down to low-end retailers, giving him an almost unprecedented impact on the entire fashion industry.
Guitarist Dick Dale, whose fast, thunderous sound pioneered the California "surf rock" genre of the early 1960s and gained a new generation of fans decades later through its appearance in "Pulp Fiction," died March 16. He was 81. No cause of death was revealed, but he suffered from health issues in recent years, including rectal cancer. Dale was known as “The King of the Surf Guitar” and liked to say it was he and not the Beach Boys who invented surf music. He is pictured here in 2007.
WWE wrestler "King Kong Bundy," whose real name was Christopher Pallies, died March 4 at age 61 of undisclosed causes. He was one of the most prominent WWE wrestling stars of the 1980s and 1990s, taking on on Hulk Hogan in the iconic steel cage match at WrestleMania 2 in 1986.
Janice Freeman, a contestant on the NBC singing competition show "The Voice" in 2017, died March 2 at age 33. She had an extreme case of pneumonia and a blood clot had traveled to her heart. She is pictured here performing on "The Voice" in 2017, where she joined mentor Miley Cyrus' team and made it to the top 11.
Actor Rip Torn died July 9 at age 88. No cause of death was given. Torn co-starred alongside Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones in the "Men in Black" films and played Garry Shandling’s producer in HBO’s "The Larry Sanders Show." He is pictured here in 2006.
Pernell Whitaker was a four-weight world champion boxer in the lightweight, light welterweight, welterweight, and light middleweight categories. He died July 14 at the age of 55 after being struck by a vehicle. He is pictured here in 1990 fighting Azumah Nelson at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas.
Justice John Paul Stevens died July 16 at age 99 after having a stroke. Stevens was nominated to the Supreme Court by Republican President Gerald Ford in 1975 in the wake of Watergate and stepped down almost 35 years later as a leader for the liberal side of the bench. He is pictured here in 2014.
Nobel laureate Toni Morrison died Aug. 5 at age 88 after a "brief illness." Morrison was a pioneer and reigning giant of modern literature whose imaginative power in "Beloved," ''Song of Solomon" and other works transformed American letters by dramatizing the pursuit of freedom within the boundaries of race. She is pictured here in 2007.
Oscar-nominated actor Peter Fonda died Aug. 16 at age 79 from lung cancer. Fonda wrote and starred in counterculture classics like "Easy Rider." He is the son of actor Henry Fonda and the brother of Jane Fonda. He is pictured here in 2018.
Billionaire David Koch died Aug. 23 at age 79 from prostate cancer. Koch was a major donor to conservative causes and educational groups. His family's business, Koch Industries, is the second-largest privately held company in the United States. He is pictured here in 2013.
Valerie Harper, best known for her role in "The Mary Tyler Moore Show," died Aug. 30 at age 80. She is pictured here in 1987.
Joan Johnson, who helped create one of the nation's largest black-owned companies, died Sept. 9 at age 89 after an unspecified long illness. Johnson co-founded Johnson Products Company, the pioneering black hair care company which made iconic products such as Ultra Sheen and Afro Sheen.
Oil tycoon T. Boone Pickens, of Mesa Petroleum, died from natural causes Sept. 11, 2019 at age 91. Pickens amassed a fortune as an oil tycoon and corporate raider and gave much of it away as a philanthropist. He is pictured here in 1984, speaking at the Helmsley Palace Hotel in New York.
Chris March, a celebrity fashion designer who was a contestant on season 4 of "Project Runway," died Sept. 5 at age 56. He worked with stars like Beyonce, Lady Gaga, Madonna and Meryl Streep. He died from a heart attack, following a long battle of health issues after he fell and hit his head in 2017, which left him paralyzed in both legs.
Kylie Rae Harris, a rising country singer, died in a car crash Sept. 4. She was 30.
Saoirse Kennedy Hill died Sept. 1 at age 22 of a suspected drug overdose. She was the granddaughter of Robert F. Kennedy, who was assassinated in 1968 while running for president. She is pictured here in 2016.
Russi Taylor, the voice of Minnie Mouse since the mid-1980s, died July 26 at age 75 from colon cancer. She is pictured here in 2008 alongside her husband, Wayne Allwine, who voiced Micky Mouse since 1977. Allwine died in 2009.
Dutch actor Rutger Hauer died July 19 at age 75 from an unspecified but brief illness. Hauer is known for his role alongside Harrison Ford in the sci-fi classic "Blade Runner." He is pictured here in 2013.
Actor Charles Levin was in the process of moving when he went missing. His son reported him missing July 8 after he hadn't heard from his father for several days. On July 13, Levin's body was found in a remote area in Oregon nearby his car. A cause of death has not been released; however officials said it was "accidental." Levin is known for his roles on TV shows like "Seinfeld" and "LA Law."
YouTube personality Emily Hartridge died July 12 when she was hit by a vehicle while riding an electric scooter in London. She was 35. Officials said the crash was Britain's first fatal collision involving an electric scooter. Hartridge had more than 355,000 subscribers on YouTube.
Actress Denise Nickerson died July 10 at age 62. She is best known for playing Violet Beauregarde in 1971's "Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory." Nickerson was in declining health since suffering a stroke in 2018, and she was taken off life support July 10, 2019 after suffering a seizure. She is pictured here in 2011.
Bart Starr, the Hall of Fame Green Bay Packers quarterback who won the first two Super Bowl titles in the 1960s, died May 26 at the age of 85. Starr had been in declining health since suffering a stroke in 2014. He is pictured here circa 1965.
Model and actress Stefanie Sherk died April 20 at age 37 from suicide. Sherk is the wife of Oscar-nominated actor Demián Bichir and appeared in some films and TV shows herself. She is pictured here in 2011.
Felicite Tomlinson, the 18-year-old sister of One Direction member Louis Tomlinson, died from an accidental overdose March 13. She is pictured here in 2014 with Louis. Felicite was also a fashion designer, model and Instagram influencer with more than 1.3 million followers.
Singer and songwriter Eddie Money died on Sept. 13 at age 70, following a battle with stage 4 esophageal cancer. Money was known for such hits as "Two Tickets to Paradise" and "Take Me Home Tonight."
Veteran journalist Cokie Roberts died from breast cancer on Sept. 17 at age 75. Roberts was the winner of three Emmys and a trailblazer in broadcasting.
Ric Ocasek -- singer, rhythm guitarist and songwriter of The Cars -- died Sept. 15 from heart disease at the age of 75. The Cars is a band known for creating their own sound by blending rock and pop music with elements of the new wave scene which emerged in the late 1970s and early 1980s.
Tony Award-winning Broadway actress Phyllis Newman died Sept. 15 at the age of 86. Newman was also the first woman to host "The Tonight Show" and later became a women's health advocate.
Suzanne Whang, host of HGTV's "House Hunters" from 1999 to 2007, died Sept. 17 at age 56 following a long battle with breast cancer. She was first diagnosed in 2006, and in 2011 she was told she only had six months to live. Whang dedicated herself to regaining her health and and lived cancer-free for seven years, until the disease returned in October 2018. She is pictured here in 2015.
Aron Eisenberg, who played Nog from the Star Trek spin-off "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine," died Sept. 21 at age 50. His cause of death was not released. He is pictured here in 2014.
Sid Haig, born Sydney Eddie Mosesian, died on Sept. 21 at the age of 80. Haig was a genre actor best known for playing the role of Captain Spaulding in the horror films "House of 1000 Corpses" and "The Devil's Rejects" and had nearly 150 credits in film and television. He is pictured here in 2011.
Former pro basketball player Andre Emmett was shot and killed outside his Dallas home Sept. 23 at the age of 37. Emmett played with the Memphis Grizzlies and New Jersey Nets before playing professionally in the three-on-three league, BIG3. He is pictured here in 2012.
J. Michael Mendel died Sept. 22, just two days before his 55th birthday. He was an Emmy-winning producer who worked on "Rick and Morty" and "The Simpsons." A cause of death was not given.
Oscar-nominated actress and singer Diahann Carroll died on Oct. 4 in Los Angeles from cancer. Carroll played Julia Baker, a nurse whose husband had been killed in Vietnam, in the groundbreaking sit-com "Julia" that aired from 1968 to 1971. She is pictured here in 2011.
Ginger Baker, the volatile and propulsive British drummer who was best known for his time with the power trio Cream, died Oct. 6 at age 80. His cause of death was not released. He is pictured here in 2008.
Mordicai Gerstein, a beloved children's book author and illustrator, died Sept. 24 at the age of 83 from metastatic esophageal cancer. Gerstein was the master behind such books like "The Night World," "The Sleeping Gypsy," and "The Man Who Walked Between the Towers," which won him the Caldecott Award for distinguished American children's picture books in 2004.
Rip Taylor, the madcap mustached comedian with a fondness for confetti-throwing who became a television game show mainstay in the 1970s, died Oct. 6. He was 88. A cause of death was not given. He is pictured here in 2011.
Alexei Leonov, the first person to perform a spacewalk, died Oct. 11 at age 85. Russian news agencies said he was chronically ill before his death, but did not specify. On March 18, 1965, he became the first person in the world to walk in space, spending 12 minutes outside the Voskhod 2 capsule. He is pictured on the left in 1965 and on the right in 2014.
Robert Forster, the handsome character actor received an Oscar nomination for playing Max Cherry in "Jackie Brown," died Oct. 11 at age 78. His agent said he died from brain cancer. He is pictured here in 2013.
Perot first became known to Americans outside of business circles by claiming that the U.S. government left behind hundreds of American soldiers who were missing or imprisoned at the end of the Vietnam War. Perot fanned the issue at home and discussed it privately with Vietnamese officials in the 1980s, angering the Reagan administration, which was formally negotiating with Vietnam's government.
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. Some Republicans blamed him for Bush's lost to Clinton as Perot garnered the largest percentage of votes for a third-party candidate since former President Theodore Roosevelt's 1912 bid.
During the campaign, Perot spent $63.5 million of his own money and bought up 30-minute television spots. He used charts and graphs to make his points, summarizing them with a line that became a national catchphrase: "It's just that simple."
Perot's second campaign four years later was far less successful. He was shut out of presidential debates when organizers said he lacked sufficient support. He got just 8% of the vote, and the Reform Party that he founded and hoped to build into a national political force began to fall apart.
However, Perot's ideas on trade and deficit reduction remained part of the political landscape. He blamed both major parties for running up a huge federal budget deficit and letting American jobs to be sent to other countries. The movement of U.S. jobs to Mexico, he said, created a "giant sucking sound."
Perot continued to speak out about federal spending for many years. In 2008, he launched a website to highlight the nation's debt with a ticker that tracked the rising total, a blog and a chart presentation.
Henry Ross Perot was born in Texarkana on June 27, 1930. His father was a cotton broker; his mother a secretary. Perot said his family survived the Depression relatively well through hard work and by managing their money carefully.
Young Perot's first job was delivering papers in a poor, mostly black part of town from his pony, Miss Bee. Perot said when the newspaper tried to cut his commission, he complained to the publisher — and won. He said he learned to take problems straight to the top.
From Texarkana, Perot went to the U.S. Naval Academy even though he had never been on a ship or seen the ocean. After the Navy, Perot joined International Business Machines in 1955 and quickly became a top salesman. In his last year at IBM, he filled his sales quota for the year in January.
In 1962, with $1,000 from his wife, Margot, Perot founded Electronic Data Systems. Hardware accounted for about 80% of the computer business, Perot said, and IBM wasn't interested in the other 20%, including services.
Many of the early hires at EDS were former military men, and they had to abide by Perot's strict dress code — white shirts, ties, no beards or mustaches — and long work days. Many had crew cuts, like Perot.
The company's big break came in the mid-1960s when the federal government created Medicare and Medicaid, the health programs for seniors, the disabled and the poor. States needed help in running the programs, and EDS won contracts — starting in Texas — to handle the millions of claims.
EDS first sold stock to the public in 1968, and overnight, Perot was worth $350 million. His fortune doubled and tripled as the stock price rose steadily.
In 1984, he sold control of the company to General Motors Corp. for $2.5 billion and received $700 million in a buyout. In 2008, EDS was sold to Hewlett-Packard Co.
Perot went on to establish another computer-services company, Perot Systems Corp. He retired as CEO in 2000 and was succeeded by his son, Ross Perot Jr. In 2009, Dell Inc. bought Perot Systems.
In September 2011, Forbes magazine estimated Perot's wealth at $3.5 billion and ranked him No. 91 on its list of richest Americans.
Perot was not immune to mistakes in business. His biggest might have been a 1971 investment in duPont Glore Forgan, then one of the biggest brokerage houses on Wall Street. The administration of President Richard Nixon asked Perot to save the company to head off an investor panic, and he also poured money into another troubled brokerage, Walston & Co., but wound up losing much of his $100 million investment.
It was during the Nixon administration that Perot became involved in the issue of U.S. prisoners of war in Southeast Asia. Perot said Secretary of State Henry Kissinger asked him to lead a campaign to improve treatment of POWs held in North Vietnam. Perot chartered two jets to fly medical supplies and the wives of POWs to Southeast Asia. They were not allowed into North Vietnam, but the trip attracted enormous media attention.
After their release in 1973, some prisoners said conditions in the camps had improved after the failed missions.
In 1979, the Iranian government jailed two EDS executives and Perot vowed to win their release.
"Ross came to the prison one day and said, 'We're going to get you out,'" one of the men, Paul Chiapparone, told The Associated Press. "How many CEOs would do that today?"
Perot recruited retired U.S. Army Special Forces Col. Arthur "Bull" Simons to lead a commando raid on the prison. A few days later, the EDS executives walked free after the shah's regime fell and mobs stormed the prison. Simons' men sneaked the executives out of the country and into Turkey. The adventure was recalled in Ken Follett's best-selling book "On Wings of Eagles" and a TV miniseries.