Born: United States of America
Primarily active in: United States of America
Henry Ross Perot Jr., Chairman of EastWest Institute, is a pioneer of aviation who piloted the first helicopter flight to circumnavigate the world. This feat was completed in a Bell 206 L-1 Long Ranger II, The Spirit of Texas. Starting on September 1, 1982, the trip took 29 days and covered 26 countries.
Born and raised in Dallas, Perot was the son of Ross and Margot Perot. He attended Vanderbilt University before he was commissioned in the Air Force. As a fighter pilot, he flew F-4s for more than seven years before separating to follow in his father's footsteps as a businessman. When he was 23 years old, he took the monumental flight around the world. His father Perot, Sr. provided the helicopter, including upgrades that were necessary, the fueling stops, and a Lockheed C-130 which followed them with supplies. His fellow pilot, Jay Coburn, a friend of his father's, was a veteran of Vietnam where he gained substantial helicopter experience. The Spirit of Texas is located today at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, VA.
As a businessman, Perot was very successful in the field of real estate development. He is responsible for the building of Alliance, Texas, a master planned community in the Dallas Fort Worth area, and the Fort Worth Alliance Airport, the world's first industrial airport. He served as chairman of several companies including Perot Companies and Hillwood. For his success and service to his community, Perot was awarded the Gold Medal Award for Extraordinary Service by Ronald Reagan (1982), the Woodrow Wilson Award for Corporate Citizenship (2007), and the Secretary of Defense Medal for Outstanding Public Service (2007). Perot now serves his community as a boardsman of Vanderbilt University, the Dallas Citizen Council, and the Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum. Ross Perot Jr. and his wife Sarah have four children and lead the Perot Foundation, which has helped enhance the growth in the fields of education, arts & culture, and religion, specifically in their hometown of Dallas.