Ross Perot: Billionaire former independent presidential challenger dies aged 89

H. Ross Perot speaks at a rally Credit: AP

H. Ross Perot, one of America's most successful independent presidential candidates - who twice ran for the White House - has died aged 89.

The colourful, self-made Texas billionaire died after a five-month battle with leukemia, a representative for the Perot family said.

He was perhaps most well-known for gaining 19% of the popular vote in 1992 - an achievement that was blamed for George H.W. Bush's failure to gain reelection.

He was seen to have split the Republican vote, paving the way for Democratic candidate Bill Clinton to win the election.

His vote share was the biggest percentage for a third-party hopeful in 80 years.

President George H.W. Bush, left, talks with independent candidate Ross Perot as Democratic candidate Bill Clinton stands aside at the end of their second presidential debate Credit: Marcy Nighswander/AP

He ran for the presidency again four years later in 1996, this time on the Reform Party ticket, however only won 8.4% of the vote.

Mr Perot rose from Depression-era poverty to become one of the nation’s richest men as the founder of computer services giant Electronic Data Systems Corp.

He had founded EDS in 1962 and sold control of it to General Motors for 2.5 billion US dollars in 1984.

He later founded another company, Perot Systems.