Speed Reads

RIP

Ross Perot, billionaire and former presidential candidate, dies at 89

Ross Perot, a billionaire pioneer in the computer services industry and a two-time independent candidate for U.S. president, died on Tuesday after a five-month battle with leukemia, The Dallas Morning News reports. He was 89.

Perot, who was born into depression-era poverty, became one the richest people in United States after founding Electronic Data Systems Corp.

In 1992, Perot ran for president as an independent against incumbent Republican George H.W. Bush and his Democratic challenger Bill Clinton. Clinton eventually won the election, but Perot garnered a shocking 19 percent of the popular vote — at the time, it had been 80 years since a third-party candidate performed so well in a presidential election. Perot ran again in 1996, albeit with less success.

Perot was known for 30-minute paid infomercials in which he produced "scary economic charts" that aided his campaign, the Morning News reports.

While he received flak from Republicans for costing Bush the presidency in '92, his son Ross Perot Jr. said the campaign was never about personal gain. "He was a businessman, frustrated by what's going on, and wanted to help fix the country," the younger Perot said of his father.

No third party candidate has since achieved what Perot did in his first go-round, but his legacy lives on in every election cycle. Read more at The Dallas Morning News.