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.