“Failures are like skinned knees: painful but superficial.” — Ross Perot
Ross Perot passed away of leukemia today. As a student in Texas in the 80s, Perot was a household name well before he was a presidential candidate. He oversaw a TX public schools reform committee which led to No Pass No Play and so we students talked of him often and worried of the sweeping changes he wrought. I saw an original Magna Carta at the National Archives thanks to his loan of the document which he purchased in 1984. He (or, rather, his foundation) sold it at auction in 2007 because Perot wanted funds to start projects for wounded soldiers, medical research and education.
Perot was pro-choice, supported Planned Parenthood and gay rights, increased AIDS research and stricter gun controls like assault rifle bans. He supported veterans beyond measure and so many other civic causes including museums, hospitals, and more. He was a true Texan, veteran and philanthropist of great distinction. What a firecracker.
This line from the New York Times obituary says it all:
Mr. Perot remained proud of his singular life. “Eagles don’t flock,” he told visitors in Dallas. “You have to find them one at a time.”