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Ross Perot, billionaire and ex-presidential candidate, dies at 89

botchway July 10, 2019

 

Texan billionaire Ross Perot, who twice ran for US president as an independent, has died aged 89, his family says.

Described as idiosyncratic and feisty, he pioneered the computer data industry by founding his own company in 1962.

But he was best known for running in the 1992 campaign, advocating balanced budgets and calling for an end to the outsourcing of jobs abroad.

Democrat Bill Clinton won the three-way race, in which Mr Perot took almost 19% of the vote.

Perot ran for president again in 1996, after forming the Reform Party. He was diagnosed with leukaemia earlier this year.

“Ross Perot, the ground-breaking businessman and loving husband, brother, father and grandfather, passed away early Tuesday at his home in Dallas, surrounded by his devoted family,” the Perot family said in a statement.

H Ross Perot was an American original. A self-made billionaire with a penchant for plain-speaking in his clipped north Texas twang, he built a reputation as a savvy technology entrepreneur and spent a small fortune helping US veterans and attempting to free American hostages abroad.

He was also a political harbinger.

His 1992 independent presidential bid – the most successful third-party candidacy in eight decades – exposed fault lines in the US political system that would some day result in electoral earthquakes. He capitalised on the thirst of American voters for an outsider who could disrupt two-party government and built a dedicated following with his populist, small-government, anti-trade, anti-globalist rhetoric.

His unconventional candidacy, announced on a US talk show, straddled the line between entertainment and politics and contributed to the defeat of incumbent Republican President George HW Bush.

Although his second presidential bid in 1996 faltered and the Reform Party he founded crumbled once he scaled back his involvement, the ideological themes he built it on would later be adopted by Donald Trump to bring the establishment of the Republican Party as it existed for decades crashing down.

Source: bbc.com

 

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