H. Ross Perot, the Texas multimillionaire who ran for U.S. president in 1992 and 1996, is celebrating his 82nd birthday today.
Bored with working as an IBM salesman, Perot quit and started a company he called Electronic Data Systems, which he eventually sold to General Motors for $2.5 billion.
EDS staff who got to know Perot learned quickly that the wealthy Texan expected them to anticipate needs and handle them without excuses. Once, during a 3 a.m. hotel conversation with EDS recruiter Rob Brooks, Perot confided that he craved a chocolate malt. Brooks persuaded the hotel's night manager to open the hotel’s kitchen so he could prepare his boss a malt. "The word 'impossibility' was not in his vocabulary," Brooks remembered.