Ross Perot’s Cause of Death Was Leukemia

Ross Perot family

Getty Ross and Margot Perot

The cause of death for Ross Perot, the Texas billionaire who died at the age of 89, was leukemia.

Perot died with his family at his side; he was married to wife Margot for decades, and the couple had five children together. In addition to his political career, Perot – and his wife – are known for their philanthropy in Texas. (You can read more about Ross Perot’s wife, Margot Birmingham Perot, here.)

“In business and in life, Ross was a man of integrity and action,” a family statement about his death read. “A true American patriot and a man of rare vision, principle and deep compassion, he touched the lives of countless people through his unwavering support of the military and veterans and through his charitable endeavors.”

Here’s what you need to know:

Perot Was Diagnosed With Leukemia in February

GettyRoss and Margot Perot

Ross Perot had been battling the illness that killed him only since February 2019, according to The Hill. Perot died after “a five-month battle with leukemia,” Fox News reported.

According to the Mayo Clinic, leukemia “is cancer of the body’s blood-forming tissues, including the bone marrow and the lymphatic system. Many types of leukemia exist. Some forms of leukemia are more common in children. Other forms of leukemia occur mostly in adults. Leukemia usually involves the white blood cells.” The exact reasons that people get leukemia are not clear; according to the Mayo Clinic, it’s believed “to develop from a combination of genetic and environmental factors.”

“Certain abnormalities cause the cell to grow and divide more rapidly and to continue living when normal cells would die. Over time, these abnormal cells can crowd out healthy blood cells in the bone marrow, leading to fewer healthy white blood cells, red blood cells and platelets, causing the signs and symptoms of leukemia,” the site explains.

Ross Perot Dead

GettyPerot pictured in 1992.

Ross Perot is perhaps best known outside Texas for his two independent runs for president in 1992 and 1996. He made his fortune through the computer services company Electronic Data Systems, which he founded in 1962, according to the Hill. Ross Perot founded the Reform Party, which was a third-party effort.

In 1992, he received 19 percent of the vote in a race that also included George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton. That was “the biggest percentage for a third-party hopeful in 80 years,” according to The Guardian.

Ross Perot’s net worth was more than $4 billion at the time of his death, according to Forbes. “In 2009 he sold computer services firm Perot Systems to Dell Computer for $3.9 billion, netting $800 million,” the site reports. He lived in Dallas, Texas.

Ross Perot joins a fairly long list of American celebrities who have passed away from leukemia. The list includes such celebrities as Etta James, Charlie Murphy, Fred MacMurray, and Craig Sager. You can see a list of celebrities who died of leukemia here.