Ross Perot, the self-made billionaire and computer industry giant whose two runs for president as an outsider shook up American politics, died yesterday at 89, his family said.
“A true American patriot and a man of rare vision, principle and deep compassion, he touched the lives of countless people through his unwavering support of the military and veterans and through his charitable endeavors,” the family said in a statement.
The trailblazing Texas tycoon, technology pioneer and philanthropist died at his Dallas home, after what the Dallas Morning News described as a five-month battle with leukemia.
Perot delivered a shock performance as an independent in the 1992 presidential race, capturing 19 percent of the vote and syphoning off conservative support.
He memorably warned of a “giant sucking sound” of US jobs moving to Mexico, striking populist themes that would resurface later in the conservative Tea Party Movement and Donald Trump’s 2016 White House campaign.
Perot’s strong showing, also fueled by his clarion call to slash government deficits, helped seal Democrat Bill Clinton’s victory over incumbent George H.W. Bush.