Politics

Ross Perot, Texas Billionaire and Independent Presidential Candidate, Is Gone at 89

Straight talker was popular among those distrustful of Establishment politics

Image Credit: WikiMedia Commons / Journalist SWCS Public Affairs, SSG.Russell lee klika

Ross Perot has passed away.

He was 89 and had fought a five-month battle with leukemia, a family spokesperson shared with the media.

The Texas billionaire — whose independent presidential campaign in 1992 added the phrase “that giant sucking sound” to the American political vocabulary — died on Tuesday, according to a family spokesman.

“Perot was an unlikely modern political figure, saddled with an easily caricatured voice and ears and with no political campaign experience before he launched his-third party bid challenging the incumbency of President George H.W. Bush,” as The Los Angeles Times noted in its obituary of the man.

“Perot received 19 percent of the popular vote but ultimately had little impact on the electoral-college math of that election, which was won by Democrat Bill Clinton.”

Yet his “down-to-earth personality, combined with public perceptions that he was a straight-talking independent, made him a popular figure among those who distrusted political smoothness and disdained the perfectly calibrated quote,” the same outlet noted.

Perot created the Reform Party in 1995 and in 1996 tried, without success, to conduct another presidential bid.

In a LifeZette round-up entitled “Eight Presidential Ego Trips” from a few years ago, this publication said the following about H. Ross Perot and seven other individuals who sought the White House: “Successful men? You bet. Presidential material? Umm, not so fast.”

The rambling Texas billionaire wanted to be president badly, running in 1992 and again in 1996 — and financing his bids with his own deep pockets. He had big ears, a strange voice, and a bit of paranoia here and there,” we also wrote.

“In 1992, he managed to capture 19 percent of the vote, making him our most successful independent party candidate for president yet. But he didn’t win a single electoral college vote, let alone the 270 needed to move into the White House.”

“He famously said in one debate (repeatedly): ‘Can I finish?'”

“After drawing just 8 percent in his second run, he was finished.”

See more about Perot and his story in the tweets below:

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