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Ross Perot: Big Business, Texas Style
Texas might have more millionaires than steers these days, but billionaire tycoons are still rare enough, and none but H. Ross Perot ever spent a fortune caring for and trying to free Vietnam POWs, sprang employees from Iran's toughest jail, founded a political party, and attracted 19 million votes for president. Perot, who hails from Texarkana but made Dallas his home, captured more of the popular vote in 1992 than any other third-party candidate in history.
He ran again in 1996, but by then the air had gone out of the populist balloon. The campaigns might seem audacious, but it was the rescue of two Electronic Data Systems (EDS) staffers from a Tehran prison that cemented his reputation as a man who moves to his own beat. Perot's money is self-made, generated by the success of his two companies, EDS, which he sold to General Motors, and Perot Systems, now run by Ross Jr.
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