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Texas billionaire H. Ross Perot dies at 89

The Texas billionaire who was born during the Depression in a poor family and was twice independent presidential candidate has died

Independent Presidential candidate Ross Perot at the California Convention of the Reform Party

ARCHIVE - In this archive photo of June 1, 1996, billionaire H. Ross Perot speaks at the California Convention of the Reform Party, founded by him. The two-time independent presidential candidate died on Tuesday, July 9, 2019. He was 89 years old. (AP Photo / Reed Saxon, File)

AP | DAVID KOENIG

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H. Ross Perot, the Texan billionaire who was born during the Depression into a poor family and twice was an independent presidential candidate has died. He was 89 years old.

Leer en español: Falleció Ross Perot, multimillonario que fue candidato

Perot, who with 19% of the votes in 1992 remained as one of the most voted independent candidates in the last century, died on Tuesday at his home in Dallas surrounded by his family, said spokesman James Fuller.

As a child in Texarkana, Texas, Perot distributed newspapers on horseback. His billions of dollars were won in a more modern way: the company Electronic Data Systems Corp., created by him, that helped other companies to manage their computer networks.

But the fact that made him famous was not related to sales and profits: he financed a command assault in 1979 to free two EDS employees imprisoned in Iran. The fact gave rise to a book and a movie.

With his wealth, fame and plan to remedy the economic woes of the nation, Perot stood as a candidate in 1992 against Republican President George HW Bush and Democratic contender Bill Clinton. Many Republicans blamed him for Bush's defeat, since he obtained the highest percentage of votes for an independent since Theodore Roosevelt tried in 1912.

Read also: The former president Fernando de la Rúa dies at 81

Perot spent 63 million dollars out of pocket and bought 30-minute spots on television. He illustrated his affirmations with graphics and summarized them with a phrase that became famous: "It's that simple".

His second campaign, four years later, was much less successful. They excluded him from the debates because the organizers said he lacked support. He obtained 8% of the votes, and the Reform Party he created began to collapse.

However, his ideas about trade and the reduction of the deficit remained in force. He blamed the two traditional parties for the accumulation of the deficit and for allowing the export of jobs. The displacement of jobs from the United States to Mexico, he said, generates "a strong noise of suction."

Henry Ross Perot was born in Texarkana on June 27, 1930. His father was a cotton merchant and his mother was a secretary.

He was married and had five children.

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