July 9, 2019
Ross Perot, self-made billionaire and two-time independent candidate for U.S. president, died after a five-month battle with leukemia. He was 89 years old.
A computer-industry pioneer, Perot founded Electronic Data Systems Corp. (EDS) in 1962 and Perot Systems Corp. 26 years later. In the early 1980s, Perot acquired nearly 2,700 acres in Plano, TX, off Dallas North Tollway, in the middle of nowhere (at the time). He placed EDS headquarters on the acreage, which he dubbed Legacy. Frito-Lay and J.C. Penney also opened their headquarters on the land, and in 1999, developer Fehmi Karahan signed an agreement with EDS to acquire 150 acres, on which he built the mixed-use Legacy Town Center.
Legacy today is home to major corporations, thousands of residents and a vast array of local, regional and national retailers.
An additional CRE legacy left by the older Ross Perot was Ross Perot Jr., who established Hillwood, one of the largest private real estate developers and investors in the United States.
In addition to his role as corporate executive and political candidate in the 1992 and 1996 U.S. Presidential elections, Perot was a philanthropist and humanitarian. The recipient of the Winston Churchill Award for his efforts on behalf of American POWs in Vietnam, Perot also organized a strike team that rescued two of his EDS employees from an Iranian prison in 1979. Perot supported education in Texas, as well as institutions such as the University of Texas Medical Center, both by himself and through the Perot Foundation, which was well-known for supporting education, veterans and the arts.
Perot is survived by his wife, Margot; their five children and spouses, and 16 grandchildren.
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