Perot's Number Two

WHEN ROSS PEROT INTRODUCED HIS VICE-PRESIdential candidate last week, he called him a "hero's hero" and "a man of steel." James Stockdale, 68, a highly decorated former Navy fighter pilot and POW, fits those descriptions. But it remains to be seen whether the retired vice admiral is too prickly and independent to weather the give-and-take of a presidential campaign any more gracefully than Perot.

A native of Abingdon, Illinois, and a 1946 graduate of Annapolis, Stockdale was one of the most celebrated POWs of the Vietnam War. Captured in 1965 when he parachuted from his crippled A-4 jet, he spent nearly...

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