One Year After: The Reform Party Remembers Ross Perot

One year ago today, Texas industrialist Ross Perot died at the age of 89.  The Reform Party, which Perot founded after his monumental 1992 Independent presidential campaign and for whom he served as their inaugural 1996 presidential nominee, released the following statement at the time of his death:

Today, the nation lost a great man.

Ross Perot, an entrepreneur, a businessman, a philanthropist and dedicated husband and father, passed away today, July 9th, 2019.

Ross Perot was a visionary who created the Reform Party to offer a choice to the American voting public. Perot was concerned about the divisions in American politics that appeared at the time, and the lack of focus on serving the American people.

Born and raised in Texarkana, Texas, Perot finished his duty with the U.S. Navy and went into sales for IBM. In 1962, he formed his owned company, Electronic Data Systems (EDS), which was purchased in 1984 for $2.4 billion.

During his life, Perot showed deep loyalty to Americans in trouble and to American prisoners of war in Vietnam. He worked tirelessly for many years on the POW/MIA issue

Perot also was famous for organizing a private rescue mission of EDS employees imprisoned in Iran in the late 1970s. Perot put together the rescue team, which was led by retired United States Army Special Forces Colonel Arthur D. “Bull” Simons. Everyone was saved and brought back to the United States.

By the 1990s, Perot began getting more involved in politics.

He strongly opposed the Gulf War and ratification of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

In 1992, Perot announced his intention to run for president on the Larry King show on CNN. He advocated a balanced budget and an end to the outsourcing of jobs, and he promised he would only run to serve the American people. His announcement launched a grassroots movement of citizen volunteers from all across the country who organized to collect signatures to get Perot on 1992 presidential ballot.

Following his entrance into the 1992 presidential election, Perot was leading both the Democratic and Republican party nominees. He earned support from people across the ideological and partisan spectrum, and statistics showed that he drew strongly from independent voters and almost equally from registered Democrats and Republicans.

In recent years, Perot continued to work. Each day he woke up with a simple mission: to help at least one person.

Mr. Perot was a great American. He will be missed by the members of the Reform Party Executive Committee, and those that believe in political choice for all Americans.

6 thoughts on “One Year After: The Reform Party Remembers Ross Perot

  1. Richard Winger

    If the Reform Party really wants to honor Ross Perot, the party should get his name right. He hated it when people called him “H. Ross Perot.” He said his name is Ross Perot. People have a common law right to say what their name is.

  2. Michigan Voter

    Listen, I love me some Ross Perot. I think he was a national treasure. But, I definitely get the sense that these days the Reform Party is just Nicholas Hensley writing press releases to make it seem like a bigger organization than it is. Until the next press release, keep things going strong in fantasy land!

  3. Michael Hackmer

    Thank you for highlighting the article I wrote in memory of Ross Perot.

    I was in high school when I saw Perot on TV. Though I had an interest in politics, it was Perot that got me engaged. The citizen movement that I got to be apart of was unlike anything I had experienced in my life and remains a unique experience.

    As a student, I’d take the train into Boston and navigate my way to the small, donated office space we used. We had a couple of tables, some handouts that we made and a couple of phones. People came from all over to collect signatures. Some people left jobs to dedicate time to get Perot on the ballot.

    Though the Reform Party has changed and is not the force it has been or is capable of being, I am excited about our future. We are in the process of updating our operational infrastructure, our marketing operations, our grassroots network and our fundraising. We are putting together a series of public forums and taking other steps that should help us finish 2020 strong and rebound in 2021.

    For those us who have been members of the Party, we have no one to blame but ourselves for its failings over the years. But we also have no reason to dwell on the negative. As a Party, we will embrace our founding that was made possible by Perot and the thousands of Americans who came together to build our foundation and mission. We also will act with purpose, because there is no doubt… American needs a Party committed to solutions; a Party committed to putting people first.

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