Ross Perot's Baby Takes Its First Big Steps

His computer-services startup is winning jobs in a booming market

It was just like old times again. In January, 1988, H. Ross Perot, the flamboyant, flag-waving founder of Electronic Data Systems Corp., donated $20 million to the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas. Then, a year later, Zale Lipshy University Hospital, which is affiliated with the medical center, handed Perot's new company, Perot Systems Corp., a contract to build a computer network. The contract was worth only $500,000, and Dr. Ronald F. Garvey, the hospital's chief executive at the time, insists there was no quid pro quo. Still, the familiar pattern said it all: Ross Perot was back.

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