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H. Ross Perot, Presidential Candidate And Texas Billionaire, Dies At 89

1992 Presidential Candidate Ross Perot
1992 Presidential Candidate Ross Perot

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H. Ross Perot, the colorful, self-made Texas billionaire who rose from a childhood of Depression-era poverty and twice ran for president as a third-party candidate, has died. He was 89.

The cause of death was leukemia, a family spokesman said Tuesday.

Perot, whose 19% of the vote in 1992 stands among the best showings by an independent candidate in the past century, died early Tuesday at his home in Dallas surrounded by his devoted family, family spokesman James Fuller said. During the campaign, Perot spent $63.5 million of his own money and bought 30-minute television spots. He used charts and graphs to make his points, summarizing them with a line that became a national catchphrase: “It’s just that simple.

“He had the vision and the tenacity to make it happen,” said Tom Luce, who was a young lawyer when Perot hired him to handle his business and personal legal work “He was a great communicator. He never employed a speechwriter — he wrote all his own speeches. He was a great storyteller.”

With files from the Associated Press.


Ed Rollins, veteran Republican political strategist who co-chaired H. Ross Perot’s 1992 presidential campaign; he was also national campaign director for Ronald Reagan’s 1984 presidential campaign

Dan Schnur, professor of political science at UC Berkeley and USC’s Annenberg School for Communication; founder of the USC / Los Angeles Times statewide political poll; he tweets @danschnur