Ross Perot, a seminal figure in 90s politics passed away at the age of 89 Tuesday after a five-month-long battle with leukemia, according to the Associated Press.

Perot was a self-made billionaire known outside of politics for his extensive philanthropy work.

From the New York Post:

Despite his efforts to highlight the possibility that American fighters may have been left behind in Vietnam and financing a commando raid to rescue his employees held in an Iranian prison in 1979, Perot was most widely known for his White House runs.

He mounted a strong presidential run in 1992 against President George H.W. Bush and his Democratic challenger, Bill Clinton.

Spending $63.5 million of his own money, Perot bought 30-minute television ads in which he employed large charts and graphs to make his point about the US economy and trade issues.

He was known for his catchphrase the “giant sucking sound,” referring to American jobs that would head to Mexico because of NAFTA.

Perot, running as a third-party candidate, managed to win 19.7 million votes and was blamed by some Republicans for siphoning votes away from Bush to the benefit of Clinton.

His run four years later wasn’t as successful and he managed to get only 8 percent of the vote.

Perot was born in Texarkana, Texas, on June 27, 1930.

He delivered newspapers from the back of a pony during the Depression.

He later graduated from the US Naval Academy and got a job in 1955 at International Business Machines, where he became a top salesman.

Seven years later, he founded Electronic Data Systems, which managed computer systems.

The Dallas Morning News has a great obit here.

 
 
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