A Texas Titan and legend has left the great state of Texas for the last time.
H. Ross Perot, age 89, passed away Tuesday, July 9th, 2019.
This man from humble beginnings rose to great heights.
Perot started as a paperboy — not your average on-a-bike paperboy.
No sir, this Texarkana native delivered papers from the back of his pony: Miss Bee.
He attended the U.S. Naval Academy before spending time as a midshipman;
then went on to become a self-made billionaire through the launch of his company EDS;
funded a rescue mission of two of his corporate executives;
ran for President TWICE;
supported the Arts & medical centers;
championed POWs and returning veterans;
and lived by the work ethic: hard, honest work & family.
If you read the current news & magazine articles and you’d probably win Perot trivia.
Ross Perot’s 1st job? Delivering newspapers in Texarkana, TX.
Ross Perot’s billion dollar company? EDS, started in 1962, with a $1,000.00 loan from his wife. Boy, did she make a smart investment.
Perot’s employer before starting EDS? Yep, the big, towering giant: IBM.
Perot’s run for the Presidency? Twice — 1992 & 1996.
How much personal capital did Perot invest in his campaign? A cool 63.5 million.
He was a man who wore many professional and public hats in his life: dedicated business man, entrepreneur, world traveler, world advocate for POWs, Presidential hopeful.
But is that all there is to his story?
As I read through multiple articles extolling Ross Perot’s accomplishments, I had to wonder about the more important basis for his life: his family, his value, his core beliefs. It took a bit of searching, but articles such as: Remembering Ross Perot — and the Circus Dog, Traveling Outhouse and other tales he left behind, revealed the man behind the computer brilliance.
Apparently, odd family pets (a circus dog, a sun cub bear, a fishing eagle, a kangaroo, even a camel); pranks of the most extraordinary nature (initiated by Perot and often reciprocated by his family and friends); unusual family vacations (travelling through war zones); and a man intensely dedicated to his family were the real traits of Ross Perot.
When learning of Ross Perot’s death (and Lee Iaocca, who is not featured here as this is a Texas tale) my husband reminded me of the bible verse: Matthew 19:24, ‘I’ll say it again-it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of God.’ It was something to consider. Many rich people get lost & disconnected from their faith. Money becomes their master. But in researching the belly of Ross Perot’s life, that doesn’t seem to be the case. (I will offer the same aside that I told my husband: ‘None can know the true heart of another man. Only God knows what dwells inside.’) And while good deeds will NOT get us into Heaven, deeds — especially those kept private — can often attest to the true nature of a man . . . or woman.
His longtime friends said that he was a morally-convicted man, boldly, and sometimes brashly, charting his life by his own compass. He practiced anonymous philanthropy; many in his family unaware of the extent of his quiet support for people around the world. ‘Buddies to the End’
‘Perot will always be remembered for his “big, bold moves,”‘ long-time, personal friend, Langone said, ‘. . . nothing mattered more to him than his family. That came ahead of faith, country and friends — all of which Perot also cherished,’ Langone said.
‘He was a legend … but he was the most down-to-earth, caring individual I’d ever met,’ Langone said during the service.
Those who spoke at his memorial gave notice of Ross Perot’s quiet and consistent dedication to improve people’s lives. Perhaps, those who run in Texas philanthropy circle have heard the Perot name bandied about. Chances are, however, it would be his foundation that received the recognition. Living my life in Texas and tuning into local news stations, there were never any ‘bragging’ stories about Perot’s life. Apparently, he truly believed in behind the scenes. It appears H. Ross Perot believed: doing good deeds with the goal of praise and adoration meant doing them for the wrong reason.
Additionally, Perot supported Scouting. Whether you agree with their politics, whether you are the outdoor type, even whether you think group activities are good for growing youth . . . Perot did. Ross Perot supported the scouting organizations. Starting in the 1960s, Perot pledged donations to support local and council levels. He was awarded several Scouting Awards including: Distinguished Eagle Scout Award, Silver Antelope Award, Silver Beaver Award & the Silver Buffalo Award. He not only walked the walk through his donations, but Perot’s son, son-in-law and five grandsons all earned the Eagle Scout Award. And if you know anything about the Boy Scouts of America, you’ll understand the convergence of this prestigious award is hard-earned.
It is with heavy hearts that Texans say good-bye to a legend, a titan, a quietly dedicated man. Texans would say that living in the Lone Star State is like a piece of Heaven on earth. ON July 9th, Ross Perot traded in his cowboy boats for wings in the hereafter. He’ll be missed.