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).
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.
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.