Henry Ross Perot was born on 27th June 1930 and became a billionaire by founding in 1962 EDS (Electronic Data Systems) which he then sold on in 1984 to General Motors. In 1988 he also founded Perot Systems which was then sold to Dell in 2009 for $3.9 billion. He is ranked as the 68th richest person in America estimated at being worth around $5 billion in 2008. He also ran for President of the United States of America in 1992 and 1996.
He was born in Texarkana in Texas and went to Patty Hill Private School. In 1947 he graduated from Texas High School in Texarkana. He then became a member of the Boy Scouts of America and in 1942 became Eagle Scout after he had only been in the program for just over a year. He received the Distinguished Eagle Scout Award. In 1949 he went into the United States Naval Academy and helped to set up its honour system. In 1953 he graduated and was battalion commander and president of his class. In late 1954 he was made a junior grade lieutenant. He served the rest of the four years of his commitment and then left the Navy in 1957.
After leaving the Navy he got a job at IBM (International Business Machines) as a salesman. He was one of the best employees and managed to fill his year’s sales quota in only a couple of weeks. In 1962 he left IBM and founded EDS (Electronic Data Systems) in Dallas in Texas. The American government gave his business several good contracts in the 1960s ushc as computerising Medicare records and in 1968 the company went public. Within days the price of shares in the company rose from being $16 per share to being $160 per share. EDS was sold to General Motors in 1984 for $2.4 billion.
In April 1970 EDS shares decreased $450 million in only one day, leading to him attracting attention from the press and being named “the biggest individual loser ever on the New York Stock Exchange.”
In 1988 he founded Perot Systems Corporation Inc in Planto in Texas. His son H. Ross Perot Jr. later took over the job as CEO from him and also now holds the position of Chairman. Perot now serves as Chairman Emeritus.
In 1956 in Greensburg in Pennsylvania he married his wife Margot Birmingham and they have five children: Ross Jr, Nancy, Suzanne, Carolyn and Katherine. By 2007 they had 15 grandchildren.