Ross Perot, self-made billionaire, renowned patriot and two-time independent candidate for U.S. president, has died after a five-month battle with leukemia.
He was 89.
The pioneer of the computer services industry, who founded Electronic Data Systems Corp. in 1962 and Perot Systems Corp. 26 years later, was just 5-foot-6, but his presence filled a room.
“Describe my father?” Ross Perot Jr., his only son and CEO of the Perot Group, asked rhetorically in an interview. “Obviously a great family man, wonderful father. But at the end of the day, he was a wonderful humanitarian. “Every day he came to work trying to figure out how he could help somebody.”
Perot was diagnosed with leukemia in February. A massive secondary infection the next month nearly killed him, according to the family. In true Perot fashion, he fought back, showing up at the office most days in his dark suit with the omnipresent American flag on his lapel.
Perot entertained a steady stream of well-wishers at Perot headquarters on Turtle Creek Boulevard and spent Easter with his family at their compound in Bermuda.
He celebrated his 89th birthday in June with a family lunch at his office and a dinner at the home of his daughter, Carolyn Perot Rathjen.