National News

Ross Perot Fast Facts

Posted June 10, 2013

Here is a look at the life of businessman and former third party presidential candidate Ross Perot.

Personal: Birth date: June 27, 1930

Birth place: Texarkana, Texas

Birth name: Henry Ray Perot, legally changed his name to Henry Ross Perot

Father: Gabriel Ross Perot, cotton broker and part-time horse trader

Mother: Lulu May (Ray) Perot, secretary

Marriage: Margot (Birmingham) Perot (September 13, 1956-present)

Children: Katherine; Carolyn; Suzanne; Nancy; Henry Ross Jr.

Education: US Naval Academy, 1953

Military service: US Navy, 1953-1957

Other Facts: Legally changed his name to Henry Ross Perot at age 12, and went by Ross, like his father and late brother Gabriel Ross Perot Jr.

Began working at age seven, doing odd jobs such as breaking horses, delivering newspapers, and selling Christmas cards, garden seeds and magazines.

In 1969, his efforts to deliver goods to US prisoners of war held in North Vietnam brought the treatment of POWs into the spotlight. POWs later claimed that the publicity ultimately resulted in better treatment by the North Vietnamese.

Third party candidate for president of the United States in the 1992 and 1996 elections.

Founded the Perot Foundation.

He is an Eagle Scout.

Timeline: 1957-1962 - Data processing salesman for IBM Corporation.

June 27, 1962 - Founds Electronic Data Systems Corporation, (EDS), a data processing business, in Dallas, Texas, with a $1,000 loan from his wife.

1968 - EDS becomes a publicly traded company, eventually making Perot a billionaire. Fortune magazine calls Perot the "fastest, richest Texan" and puts him on the cover.

1974 - Awarded the Medal for Distinguished Public Service by the Department of Defense for his efforts on behalf of prisoners of war.

1979 - Finances a covert mission called Operation Hotfoot to rescue two EDS employees from an Iranian prison, an event that is later made into a book called "On Wings of Eagles" authored by Ken Follett.

1983 - Texas Governor Mark White recruits Perot to lead a statewide commission on education reform.

June 27, 1984 - Sells EDS to General Motors Company (GM) for $2.5 billion and stock, becoming GM's single largest stockholder and a director.

February 1986 - Presented with the Winston Churchill Award by Britain's Prince Charles and US First Lady Nancy Reagan.

December 1986 - In accordance with a buyout agreement, Perot resigns from the General Motors board of directors and sells all his GM Class E shares to receive approximately $750 million.

1988 - Founds Perot Systems Corporation in Dallas, Texas.

1988-1994 and 1997-2004 - Member of the Perot Systems board of directors.

February 20, 1992 - Announces on CNN's "Larry King Live" that he will enter the presidential race if there are enough signatures to add him to the ballot in all 50 states.

July 16, 1992 - Withdraws from the presidential race stating that he couldn't win and staying in the race would only create problems for the electoral process.

September 18, 1992 - Qualifies for the Arizona ballot, completing efforts to put his name on all 50 state ballots.

October 1, 1992 - Re-enters the presidential race as an independent.

November 3, 1992 - Receives one of the largest percentages ever for an independent candidate in a presidential election (18.9 percent), but comes in third, behind Bill Clinton and incumbent President George H. W. Bush.

September 1995 - Forms the Reform Party.

November 5, 1996 - Receives eight percent of the vote in the presidential election as the Reform Party candidate. President Clinton is re-elected to office.

November 1997-August 2000 - President and CEO of Perot Systems Corporation.

February 2, 1999 - Perot Systems Corporation gains 172 percent in its initial public offering.

August 22, 2000 - Names his son, Ross Perot Jr., president and CEO of Perot Systems. The headquarters are moved to Plano, Texas, and Perot Sr., continues as chairman of the board until September 2004.

2004-2009 - Chairman Emeritus of the board of Perot Systems.

May 2008 - The five Perot children give a $50 million gift to the new Victory Park branch of the Museum of Nature and Science in Dallas, Texas, in honor of their parents, Margot and Ross Perot. The new location will be named the Perot Museum of Nature and Science.

November 3, 2009 - Dell Incorporated buys Perot Systems for $3.9 billion, a net gain of about $400 million for the Perot family.

November 2011 - The Perot Museum of Nature and Science in Dallas, Texas, names a new species of dinosaur (Pachyrhinosaurus perotorum) after the Perot family.

December 1, 2012 - The Perot Museum of Nature and Science opens in Dallas, Texas.

March 2017 - Ranked number 441 on Forbes' list of the the world's billionaires.

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