Ross Perot, the billionaire executive who twice ran for president, passed away at the age of 89. The death was first reported on July 9, 2019.
Perot had an impressive presidential run as an Independent candidate in 1992, despite losing to Bill Clinton. He earned about 19 percent of the total vote.
Perot leaves behind his wife, Margot, and their five grown children. He had one son and four daughters, all of whom joined the family business. Four of the five attended Vanderbilt University.
Here’s what you need to know about them.
1. Ross Perot Jr. is Best Known For Flying Around the World in a Helicopter in 1982
Ross Perot’s oldest child, Ross Perot Jr, is now 60 years old and the chairman of the Perot Group. He worked with his father to launch an IT services company called Perot Systems, which was purchased by Dell in 2009. Perot Jr. also leads a real estate development company called Hillwood, which he founded in 1988.
Perot Jr. is an accomplished pilot. He served in the U.S. Air Force for 8 years, according to his bio on Hillwood’s website. He also earned a bachelor’s degree from Vanderbilt University.
Perot Jr. gained worldwide recognition in the early 1980s for a historic flight around the world. Perot Jr. became the first person ever to circle the globe in a helicopter. The trip took 29 days, with he and co-pilot Jay W. Coburn flying about 8 and a half hours per day.
2. Nancy Perot Mulford Worked in the Reagan Administration
Nancy Elizabeth Perot is the second child in the family and is now 59 years old. According to a Texas Monthly feature article published in 1992, she was also active in the family business. Nancy worked on venture capital projects with her father.
Nancy followed her older brother to Vanderbilt University for college. She was the President of the Kappa Alpha Theta sorority and graduated in 1982. As an alum, she later served as the director of the Vanderbilt Alumni Club in Dallas and on the Alumni Board of Directors.
Before going to work for the Perot Group, Nancy spent time in the political world. She worked in the White House as a special assistant in the Office of Presidential Personnel during President Ronald Reagan’s administration. After moving home to Dallas, she became a member of the Perot Foundation board of directors.
Nancy also spent several years working as a writer, including as a contributor to Veranda magazine, a lifestyle publication. Today, she still owns a book store called Interabang Books.
Nancy is married to attorney Ross Clayton Mulford and they have four sons.
3. Suzanne Perot Mcgee Worked in the Art World & Is a Well-Known Philanthropist in Dallas
Suzanne was working at the acclaimed Christie’s auction house in 1992, which auctions fine art, antiques, and jewelry. The article adds that her husband, Patrick K. McGee, was a stockbroker. They have two sons and two daughters.
Suzanne shifted her focus after relocating back to Dallas. According to the Perot Group website, she teamed up with her siblings to found the Perot Museum of Nature and Science in honor of their parents. Her own dip into politics came about when she served as the Vice-Chairman of the Board of Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas.
Her bio explains, “Mrs. McGee is a passionate supporter of the North Texas Food Bank, public radio and her alma mater Vanderbilt University. In addition, Mrs. McGee supports numerous institutions in Dallas and beyond with a focus on education, women’s health and the arts.”
4. Ross Perot Said He Suspended His Presidential Campaign in 1992 in Order to Protect Daughter Carolyn Perot Rathjen, Who Got Married That August
Carolyn Perot Rathjen is now 51. According to Bloomberg, she serves as the Chairman of the Perot Museum of Nature and Science in Dallas. She is also a Vice President of the Perot Foundation. Like her older sibling, she is also a Vanderbilt alum, graduating in 1990.
Carolyn Perot got married in August of 1992 to Karl Rathjen, a doctor. Her father suspended his presidential campaign that summer, reportedly to spare his daughter from any public ridicule.
The New York Times reported in 1992 that Ross Perot decided to quit the race “after hearing that President Bush’s campaign was scheming to smear his daughter with a computer-altered photograph and to disrupt her wedding.” Perot told CBS’ 60 Minutes, “I can’t prove any of it today. But it was a risk I did not have to take and a risk I would not take where my daughter is concerned.” The Bush campaign dismissed the allegations.
5. Katherine Perot Reeves is a Fundraiser & the Only Sibling Who Did Not Attend Vanderbilt
Katherine Perot Reeves was the baby of the family and is now 48. She bucked tradition when it came time for college. She chose to attend the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill rather than head to Vanderbilt like her siblings. Katherine studied political science.
Katherine is a Director of the Perot Foundation along with her four older siblings. In 2014, she was honored with the Outstanding Philanthropist Award in Dallas. According to a news release, Katherine was nominated by the North Texas Food Bank for her volunteer work with the group and was described as a “passionate advocate for hunger-relief causes.”
Katherine is married to Eric Reeves. They have a daughter and a son together, and Katherine also became a stepmother to another daughter when they got married.