H. Ross Perot (Dictionary of World Biography: Twentieth Century)
Article abstract: An immensely successful entrepreneur, Perot spent his first sixty years dedicated to improving American business. Thereafter he devoted his life to political reform and making government responsible to the people.
Henry Ross Perot was born on June 27, 1930, in Texarkana, Texas, a quiet cotton-dependent town that lay on the state line between Texas and Arkansas. His father Gabriel earned his living as a cotton broker in Texarkana, where he met and married Lulu May Ray, a secretary for a local lumber company. Because of Gabriel’s skills as a merchant, the Perot family lived comfortably despite the Great Depression. He and Lulu also provided hot meals to the poor from their back door.
Gabriel Perot taught his son the importance of relationships in business, stressing that a businessman’s good word allowed him to continue to do business. From his father, Ross learned to love the art of buying and selling. An equal influence on Ross was his mother, Lulu May, a strong and spiritual woman who demanded honesty, uprightness, and perfect manners from her children. Instead of whipping her children when they misbehaved, she chose to lecture them for their punishment. She taught him the importance of setting high standards for himself and of judging himself rather than waiting for others to judge him.
When he turned eighteen, Perot began sending letters to congressmen, seeking...
(The entire section is 2053 words.)
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