September 21, 2009 / 8:37 PM / 10 years ago

CHRONOLOGY-Key dates for Texas businessman Ross Perot

SAN FRANCISCO, Sept 21 (Reuters) - Dell Inc DELL.O said on Monday it will pay $3.9 billion for Perot Systems Corp (PER.N), the computer services company founded by former U.S. presidential candidate Ross Perot.

The Texas-born Naval Academy graduate failed twice in his bid for the White House, but he was more successful in business, founding and selling a company to General Motors and bankrolling Steve Jobs’ NeXT with a reported $20 million.

The following are some key dates for Perot. (For the complete story on the deal, click on [ID:nN21265091]):

June 27, 1930: Ross Perot is born in Texarkana, Texas

1949: He enters the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, after two years at Texarkana Junior College.

1957-1962: He works as a salesman for IBM, according to a Time profile.

June 27, 1962: Perot founds data services company Electronic Data Systems (EDS), incorporating it in Texas with a $1,000 loan from his wife. The name was something he wrote on a pledge envelope during a service at Highland Park Presbyterian Church in Dallas.

Sept. 12, 1968: EDS goes public, selling shares for $16.50. By October, the company has a market value of $378 million. Annual revenue is $7.7 million.

1983: Ken Follet writes “On Wings of Eagles,” a book about the 1979 rescue of two EDS employees imprisoned in Iran.

June 27, 1984: General Motors Co [GM.UL] buys EDS for $2.5 billion. The deal is finalized on Oct. 18 and EDS becomes a wholly owned subsidiary. Perot joins GM’s Board of Directors.

1986: Perot leaves GM’s board of directors after sharply criticizing management. GM buys him out for $700 million.

1987: Perot gives $20 million to Steve Jobs to help bankroll NeXT Corp to build workstation computers for the education market. Perot takes a 16 percent stake in the company and a seat on the board, according to Owen Linzmayer’s book “Apple Confidential 2.0.”

June 1, 1988: Perot founds Perot Systems Corp over breakfast with eight associates.

1989: Perot Systems gets its first customer, insurance holding company ICH.

1992: While a guest on Larry King Live, Perot says he will run for president if his supporters will petition to get him on the ballot in all 50 states. He ultimately wins 19 percent of the popular vote after quitting and rejoining the race.

Sept. 1995: Perot forms the Reform Party, whose platform is based broadly on reform and the budget.

1996: Perot runs again for president, as a member of the Reform Party. He wins 8 percent of the popular vote.

Feb. 1, 1999: Perot Systems goes public, offering shares for $16. The company begins trading the next day on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker “PER.” Annual revenues were over $1 billion.

2000: Perot distances himself from the Reform Party, endorsing Republican George W. Bush over Reform candidate Pat Buchanan.

2000: Perot’s son and Perot Systems co-founder Ross Perot Jr is named president and chief executive of the company.

Sept. 2004: Perot is named chairman emeritus of Perot Systems, his son becomes chairman, and Peter Altabef is named president and chief executive officer.

2008: Perot launches the website, focused on fiscal policy.

Aug. 26, 2008: HP acquires EDS for $13.9 billion.

Sept 21, 2009: Dell says it plans to buy Perot Systems for $3.9 billion. The Perot family owns roughly 30 million shares, or a roughly 25 percent stake. Ross Perot Jr. will be considered for appointment to the Dell board. Sources: Reuters, Encyclopedia Britannica, Hewlett-Packard Development Company website, Perot Systems Corp website, Apple Confidential 2.0 by Owen Linzmayer, TIME (Reporting by Clare Baldwin; editing by Andre Grenon)

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