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H. Ross Perot, a native of Texarkana, started the firm in 1962 that made him a billionaire, Electronic Data Systems Corp, with $1,000. In 1984 he sold EDS for $2.5 billion. In 1979 he personally took part in freeing two of his employees who had been taken prisoner in Iran. Perot’s first presidential race drew 19 percent of the vote and thereby helped elect Democrat Bill Clinton. In 1996 his share of the vote dwindled to 8 percent. Perot was twice a presidential candidate, in 1992 as an independent and in 1996 for the Reform Party, which he founded.