Texarkana community mourns loss of Ross Perot

Texarkana News

TEXARKANA, Texas (KTAL/KMSS) – Many residents in Texarkana, Texas are mourning the death of Ross Perot. He was born and raised in the city and was a benefactor to many organizations in his hometown. 

A group gathered Tuesday morning at the Perot Leadership Museum at Texarkana College, to honor his memory.  

Texarkana College President Dr. James Smith told a small crowd about Perot’s efforts as a student there in the 1940’s. “He led a petition to move Texarkana College to this current location, as a college student.”

Former Texarkana College President James Henry Russell reflected on the impact Perot had in ensuring the school’s future. He shared a brief phone conversation he had with Perot in 2012, after the school had asked Perot for $5 million. “If I give you a million dollars a year for five years will you make it? I said Mr. Perot we’ll do everything we can. He said, I didn’t ask you if you will do everything you can, I asked you if you will make it, and I immediately said yes, sir, Mr. Perot we’ll make it,” Russell said, smiling. 

Downtown, the Perot Theatre honors the billionaire’s parents. He donated money for the building’s renovation. “His parents would take the two children every Saturday night to see a movie,” said Brian Goesl, executive director for the Texarkana Regional Arts and Humanities Council.

At the Salvation Army, The Center of Hope shelter is named after Ross Perot’s father. It’s the only homeless shelter for families in the area. “The Center of Hope is the place where those that can’t otherwise find help, come. Ross Perot is a wonderful man, he loved Texarkana,” said spokesperson Scott Brunner.

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