Plutocratic Populist

Texas billionaire H. Ross Perot has a habit of defying the odds. Born in humble circumstances in Texarkana, Texas, he graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy, spent four years at sea, then went to work briefly for IBM. In 1962 he struck out on his own, launching Dallas-based Electronic Data Systems with $1,000 in savings. He sold it to General Motors 22 years later for $2.5 billion. Along the way, Perot has displayed a willingness to use his wealth for heroic purposes -- and a thirst for publicity. In 1969 he tried to deliver two planeloads of medicine, clothing and food...

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