167. H. Ross Perot Sr.

Forbes - - PROMOTION -

long be­fore his pres­i­den­tial cam­paigns (1992 and 1996), perot was an ibm sales­man. he re­port­edly quit big blue when it wouldn’t give him more com­put­ers to sell af­ter he hit his an­nual quota. in 1962 he founded elec­tronic data sys­tems and net­ted about $1.5 billion when he sold it to gm 22 years later. he then launched perot sys­tems, which dell bought for $3.9 billion in 2009. the son of a cot­ton bro­ker and a grad­u­ate of texas high school in texarkana and the U.s. naval academy, perot re­cruited mil­i­tary vets in 1978 to res­cue two eds em­ploy­ees im­pris­oned in iran, a saga re­counted in ken fol­lett’s book On Wings of Ea­gles.

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