Billionaire Ross Perot, who ran twice for president, dead at 89

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Self-made billionaire Ross Perot, who ran for president in 1992 and 1996, has died at age 89 after a five-month battle with leukemia, the Dallas Morning News reported.

Perot, who won19 percent of the vote as a third-party candidate in 1992, died early Tuesday at his home in Dallas surrounded by his family, family spokesman James Fuller said. The native-born Texan, who made his billions by founding Electronic Data Systems Corp., was seen by admirers as a patriot who served his country well before his two failed bids for the White House. In 1979, he financed a private commando raid to free two EDS employees being held in a prison in Iran. He was also a tireless advocate for Vietnam veterans.

In 1992, Perot spent more than $60 million of his own money to run against incumbent President George H.W. Bush and challenger Bill Clinton, promising to bring his business acumen to the nation’s finances. Some Republicans blamed him for Bush’s loss, noting he pulled the largest percentage of votes for a third-party candidate since former President Theodore Roosevelt’s 1912 bid.

Perot’s second campaign four years later fizzled, as he gathered just 8 percent of the vote, and the Reform Party that he founded and hoped to build into a national political force began to fall apart. – READ MORE

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