H. Ross Perot, the colorful, self-made Texas billionaire who rose from a childhood of Depression-era poverty and twice ran for president as a third-party candidate, has died. He was 89, and estimated to be worth $4.1 billion.

Perot, whose 19 per cent of the vote in 1992 stands among the best showings by an independent candidate in the past century, died early Tuesday at his home in Dallas surrounded by his devoted family, family spokesman James Fuller said. He had been suffering from leukemia.

As a boy in Texarkana, Texas, Perot delivered newspapers from the back of a pony. He earned his billions in a more modern way, however – by building Electronic Data Systems Corp., which helped other companies manage their computer networks.

Yet the most famous events in his career didn't involve sales and earnings; first he financed a private commando raid in 1979 to free two EDS employees who were being held in a prison in Iran. The tale was turned into a book and a movie.
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Then he ran for president, twice, the first time upending the two-party system, and being blamed by Republicans for letting Bill Clinton into the White House. The second time he fizzled, and the Reform Party movement died out.