What is Ross Perot up to these days?
—Ruth C., Wisconsin
The Texas businessman, who became famous as an independent presidential candidate in 1992 and 1996, has stepped out of the political arena. He can be found toiling away at his Plano, Texas, office at Perot Systems Corp., where he serves as chairman of the board. He founded the technology services company in 1988, four years after selling his multibillion dollar business EDS to General Motors Corp. (He started EDS with $1,000, borrowed from his wife, and built it into one of the world's largest techonology firms.) The industrious Perot was born in Texarkana, Texas, (pop. 34,782) and started working steadily from the time he was just 7 years old. In addition to his business success, the former Navy man worked to help prisoners of war during the Vietnam War, receiving the Medal for Distinguished Service from the Department of Defense for his efforts. He organized a rescue mission to retrieve two of his EDS employees who were taken hostage in Iran in 1979, and helped reform the Texas public school system in the 1980s. He and his wife, Margot, have been married 47 years, and have five children and 15 grandchildren.