Ross Perot: A wonderful family man, a wonderful humanitarian

Ross Perot, the self-made billionaire, philanthropist and third-party presidential candidate, died this week at his home in Texas. He was 89.

Henry Ross Perot was born in Texarkana, Texas, on June 27, 1930. His story is the epitome of hard work, and one that has rarely been equaled: He rose from Depression-era poverty to become one of the richest and most beloved men in America.

Read the tributes, the stories, interviews, memoirs, and what pops up most, the one constant is that Perot never stopped working.

As a boy, he delivered newspapers. He joined the Boy Scouts at 12, then made Eagle Scout in just 13 months. In his US Naval Academy yearbook, a classmate wrote: “As president of the Class of ’53 he listened to all gripes, then went ahead and did something about them.” At 25, he personally “dug his father’s grave with a shovel and filled it as a final tribute to him.” At 27, after leaving the Navy, he went to work at IBM where he soon became a top salesman. One year, he met the annual sales quota by the second week of January. At 32, he’d left IBM and formed his own company, Electronic Data Systems. By 38, when he took the company public, he was suddenly worth $350 million. In the 80s, Perot sold the company for billions, then started another company, Perot Systems Corp., that later sold for billions more.

“Every day he came to work trying to figure out how he could help somebody,” said Ross Perot Jr., in an interview.

And that’s another thing that pops up, another constant: Perot’s connection to people, to his employees, to POWs in North Vietnam and their families, to Gulf War Veterans suffering from a mysterious illness, and to the millions of Americans he reached in self-paid 30-minute TV spots in the 90s when he ran for president.

“Ross Perot epitomized the entrepreneurial spirit and the American creed,” said Former President George W. Bush, in a statement. “He gave selflessly of his time and resources to help others in our community, across our country, and around the world. He loved the U.S. military and supported our service members and veterans. Most importantly, he loved his dear wife, children, and grandchildren.”

That’s the last thing, the most important thing—his family.

“I want people to know about Dad’s twinkle in his eyes,” said daughter Nancy Perot. “He always gave us the biggest hugs. We never doubted that we were the most important things in his life.”


Graphic designer: Tass Mimikos


Jason Davis

Jason Davis served five years in the Army’s 101st Airborne, including two combat tours to Iraq.


  1. Sue    

    I had the distinct honor of voting for Ross for president. We could sure use another one like him for 2020. R.I.P sir.

  2. Robert Bostic    

    We honor the service of Henry Ross Perot.

  3. Frances O'Leary    

    Dear Vantage Point – Your article on the Veterans Support in San Diego, July 2019….the comment/reply section has a huge error. No one can reply to questions because the “Solve” addition at the bottom of that article is 28×8 (times!) and the answer only only allows for TWO digits. Please check. Please fix. I’d like to answer the veterans questions about his missing ribbons & medals.
    Semper Fi

    1. Gary Hicks    

      The third digit pushes the first to the left and out of the box where you cannot see, but it’s still there.

      Just punch in the answer and click.

  4. Larry M Johnson    

    One of my great HERO’s!!!!!! A true HERO who loved all of us old war-horses for what we did and never questioned our loyalty or integrity.


  5. Roger Borroel    

    Ross? Well he was just another conservative, probably a trump type. He won’t be missed by many people including me. I guess now he is hearing that SUCKING sound on the other side…very clearly!

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