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Ross Perot, a native of Texarkana, Texas, is a businessman and entrepreneur who is perhaps most well-known for his presidential campaigns in 1992 and 1996. Perot began his professional career as a salesman for IBM, and in 1962 founded Electronic Data Systems (EDS). In 1968, Fortune magazine named Perot the “fastest, richest Texan.” In 1984, General Motors purchased EDS and 1988, he founded a second company, Perot Systems Corporation.
Perot announced his intentions to run for President on February 2, 1992, on the television show Larry King Live. His campaign platform included balancing the federal budget, ending job outsourcing, and repealing gun control laws. Despite running as an Independent, Perot gained momentum and by September, 1992, garnered enough support to appear on the ballot in all 50 states. Though he did not receive any electoral votes, but did receive 19% of the popular vote, making him the most popular third-party candidate since Theodore Roosevelt in 1912. He ran for president again in 1996, this time with the Reform Party (a party his founded), and received 8% of the popular vote—less than in 1992, but still significant for a third-party candidate.