Amazon.com Widgets June 27 ~  Painful, But Superficial My Life & The Principles for Success

"Failures are like skinned knees -- painful, but superficial." ~ H. Ross Perot

H. Ross Perot

Born on this day in Texarkana, Texas, Henry Ross Perot (1930-) was a self-made billionaire philanthropist by the age of 38 with his computer service company Electronic Data Systems Corp (EDS). He sold the company to General Motors in 1984 for $2.5 billion.

With a reputation for putting his money where his mouth is, Perot received the Medal for Distinguished Public Service in 1972 after working to free POWs in Southeast Asia. In 1979, he also funded a successful rescue operation of two of his employees from an Iranian prison.

"Most people give up just when they're about to achieve success," he once observed. "They quit on the one yard line. They give up at the last minute of the game, one foot from a winning touchdown."

Going for the touchdown, he ran for President as an independent candidate in 1992.

A maverick, with a can-do spirit and tenacious knack for sound-bites, quirky Perot self-financed his campaign and gathered wide-spread, grassroots support despite little political experience. Some people chuckled, but when the votes were counted, he had gathered over 19 million votes, about 19% of the total.

"Talk is cheap." he once said. "Words are plentiful. Deeds are precious."

Among his precious deeds, Perot helped establish the Reform Party and ran again for President in 1996. Excluded from the Presidential debates, Perot gathered 8% of the popular vote his second time out.

He ranked 50 on the Forbes 400 Richest People In America for 2007, with a net worth of $4.2 billion. The dynamo has made the list every year since 1982.

"If someone is blessed as I am is not willing to clean out the barn," he said. "Who will?"

Ross PerotFailures are only superficial skinned knees.