Perot, H. Ross

Perot, H. Ross

Perot, H. Ross (Henry Ross Perot), 1930-, American business executive and political leader, b. Texarkana, Tex., grad. Annapolis, 1953. In 1957 he resigned his commission and became a salesman for IBM. In 1962 he founded Electronic Data Systems (EDS), one of the first computer data service companies. In 1984, he sold EDS to General Motors, but retained an interest in the company. Bitterly critical of General Motors management, he sold his remaining interests in EDS to GM for $700 million (1986). He diversified into real estate, gas, and oil and in 1988 started a new computer service company, Perot Systems.

Perot came to national attention during the Iran hostage crisis (1979), when he funded an operation that rescued two of his employees from an Iranian prison. In 1992, he emerged as an independent candidate for president, expressing serious concern over the national debt. After a departure from the race in July, which alienated much of his support, he returned in October and finished third in the general election with nearly one fifth of the popular vote. He subsequently opposed the ratification of the North American Free Trade Agreement.

In 1995 Perot founded a new national political party, the Reform party, as an alternative to the Democratic and Republican parties. As the party's 1996 presidential candidate, he again finished third in the presidential race, but with a much reduced popular vote. While Perot remained a significant force in the party, during the late 1990s his role was gradually eclipsed by the Reform governor of Minnesota, Jesse Ventura.

See K. Follett, On Wings of Eagles (1983); D. Levin, Irreconcilable Differences: Ross Perot versus General Motors (1989).

Henry Ross Perot, Jr. (b.1958) is a real estate developer and Chairman of the Board of Perot Systems. The only son of Ross Perot, Perot has aggressively expanded the family fortunes, primarily through real estate. He became independently prominent in the 1980s through his development and ownership of Fort Worth Alliance Airport and the surrounding area (Circle T Ranch and residential community of Heritage), a massive project that was heavily funded by governmental grants but which helped make Perot a powerful force within Texas. This early success also empowered Perot to gain majority ownership of the Dallas Mavericks NBA basketball team, a decision that was largely based on Perot's desire to develop the real estate that surrounded the basketball arena. This real estate eventually became Victory Park. His interest in the Mavericks has since been sold to Mark Cuban.

Early life

Perot was born and raised in Dallas. He graduated from St. Mark's School of Texas in 1977. As a high school student, he won world championships in Tennessee Walking Horse competitions. After graduating from Vanderbilt University, he entered the United States Air Force. He and his family live in Dallas, Texas, where he is active in a number of civic and charitable organizations.

In March 2007, Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, seeking the Republican nod for president in 2008, announced that H. Ross Perot, Jr. would serve as a member of his Texas statewide finance committee.


H. Ross Perot Jr. piloted the first ever helicopter round the world flight in a Bell 206 L-1 Long Ranger II, the Spirit of Texas. Perot Jr. and Jay Coburn completed the first circumnavigation of the world by helicopter on September 30, 1982. Their journey began 29 days, 3 hours, and 8 minutes earlier on September 1.

For their trip around the world, which began and ended in Fort Worth, Texas, Perot and Coburn flew a Long Ranger with full navigation equipment, survival gear, and emergency items. Also added were pop-out floats, and a 151-gallon auxiliary fuel tank in place of the rear seat. An additional five hours’ endurance was added to enable the Spirit of Texas to fly eight hours without refueling.

The Spirit of Texas made its last landing at Andrews Air Force Base on November 15. 1982. From there, it was transferred to the National Air and Space Museum for display, and later it was donated by H. Ross Perot to become a permanent part of the National Aeronautical Collection.

Current positions held

External links

  • Round The World Flight

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