“Texas Rich” means many things to many people, but historically, in Dallas, rich has meant the ability to borrow. It’s not your financial statement that matters, but your cash flow. For many years, then, the major bank have defined the power structure in Dallas, and the major bankers, beginning with R.L. Thornton Sr., who founded Mercantile Bank, were the original power brokers. Where they doled out the dollars, so grew the city. Today Texas is bearing the brunt of national scorn for its trusting lending practices, but the truth is, without good ol’ boy handshake deals, Dallas would not have some of its major employers. For the last several decades, a seat on the board of Republic, Inter First, or MBank was the pinnacle of business and social success. While inherited wealth virtually guarantees social status here, passive wealth - clipping coupons and enjoying the life-has never been a passage to power. Positions of real influence are reserved for those entrepreneurial scions of wealthy families who bank their inherited wealth into new businesses. But today, the role of the banks in the power structure is uncertain. In the aftermath of the real estate crash, none of the largest bank are locally owned, OnlyNCNB, with headquarters in Charlotte, North Carolina, and Texas Commerce Bank-Dallas, which is owned by Chemical Bank in New York, have made an effort to creak local boards. Both have succeeded in attracting strong local players, particularly NCNB, which has tied itself closely to Ray Hunt. Meanwhile, Bank One, formerly MBank and the last of the big Dallas bank to fall, is positioning itself as the good guy in a market full of bad guys, but we’ve yet to see if these "good listeners" are also good loaners. In the early Nineties, the game is NCNB’s - to win or lose. With 37 percent of the Dallas market and a growing statewide share, NCNB dominates the banking arena in the Southwest, But it hasp to assert itself in Dallas, and the money-oriented power structure in Dallas will be in limbo as long as NCNB lives up to its local moniker- No Cash for No Body. Following are the people in Dallas whose power is tied to their purse strings.
RAY HUNT, the only son in the "second family" of eccentric oil tycoon H.L. Hunt, is the most influential businessman in Dallas, exerting enormous power through a network of close friends and staff, and through a number of civic and political organizations that, indirectly, he controls. Since the mid-Eighties, Hunt and his cronies have rebuilt organizations like the Citizens Council and the Greater Dallas Chamber, and reinvented the old Citizens Charter Association into a new political arm called The Dallas Breakfast Group. Hunt, whose personal wealth was estimated at $1.4 billion in 1989, rules an empire that includes Hunt Consolidated, Hunt Oil. and Woodbine Development, plus significant other real estate and ranch holdings. Until recently, Hunt was the owner of this magazine.
Hunt, forty-seven, does not associate with his half-brothers and sisters (Nelson, Bunker, et al.) and was not a part of their financial disasters. It is considered a faux pas to mention the "first family" in his presence. Nor does Hunt participate in the city’s social, charity ball scene, though he does make major contributions to local charities, including the H.L. & Ruth Ray Hunt Heart Center at Baylor University Medical Center.
Hunt exercises leadership in Dallas much as a CEO runs a major, multifaceted business. He sets an agenda and then directs staff or persuades a friend to implement specific tasks. Hunt himself is relatively invisible. His worldwide interests, particularly oil exploration in the Far and Middle East, keep him broadly focused, He takes a personal out-front stance only on issues of personal interest-like his alma mater, Southern Methodist University. When SMU was reeling from its pay-for-play football scandal, Hunt stepped in to restore control. He led the effort to recruit Dr. Kenneth Pye as president of the university and is credited with salvaging SMU’s credibility.
Hunt has extensive political ties, including access to the Bush White House, and while he is not perceived to be a savvy political player, he hires people who are, He has influence in local elections through the Breakfast Group, although his personal support of a candidate or issue less readily translates into votes as Dallas matures politically.
H. ROSS PEROT, the founder of Electronic Data Systems, is now chairman of The Perot Group. Through the EDS sale to General Motors and other projects. Perot became one of the wealthiest men in Texas. Because of his various exploits, his blunt talk, and his super-patriotism. Perot, worth $3 billion, is also the most famous businessman in Texas.
Perot’s wealth has had an enormous impact on Dallas. He gave the $12 million lead gift for the new symphony hall and also made a $20 million gift to Southwestern Medical School. He made a similar pledge for the Arboretum, but withdrew it after the project was down-sized. Despite his generosity, Perot has little influence in the traditional Dallas power structure, which is built on teamwork; he prefers to pick his own causes and then dominate them. Local leaders call him a loner, and most fear him.
Perot gained his loner reputation in the early Seventies when he formed "United We Stand," a campaign he led to rescue prisoners of war in Vietnam. Later he mounted a paramilitary raid to extract two EDS employees held hostage in Iran. Local leaders feared that he would become another right-wing eccentric like oil tycoon H.L. Hunt, but Perot has shown that his power can be harnessed for a cause: in the early Eighties, he headed Governor Mark White’s Select Committee on Public Education, visiting schools throughout the state to push for educational standards and the "no-pass, no-play" rules for student athletes. This effort brought Perot national attention, though it did nothing for his popularity here in Texas. White was not reelected governor in 1986 in large part because of his support for "no-pass, no-play."
Perot angered the South Dallas community in 1987 when he helped the Dallas Police gather signatures to defeat the Dallas Citizens Police Review Board. This move came after two police officers were shot by blacks. Black leaders portrayed Perot as a storm trooper, supporting a police crack down on their neighborhoods.
CAROLINE ROSE HUNT, sixtyseven, another of H.L.’s progeny, is best known as developer of The Crescent, the $300 million hotel, office, and retail complex on the northern edge of downtown. But her real power may lie in her emergence- practically unscathed-from family misfortunes that brought down brothers Nelson and Bunker. The Rosewood Corporation, the holding company owned by Hunt’s trust and run by her son Stephen Sands, has set an unsurpassed standard in hotel development, largely due to Hunt’s vision. Today Hunt is content to putter in her antiques business, as her fortune, estimated at $800 million, continues to build.
Influential Republican PETER O’DONNELL, one of the wealthiest men in Dallas, was a GOPer when Republican wasn’t cool. A former state Republican chairman, he is no longer active in local politics, but O’Donnell still exerts tremendous influence on major projects. His ties to state and national Republicans have been critical in expanding UTD to a four-year university, and in our winning the Superconducting Super Collider project. His huge trust, administered by the O’Donnell Foundation, is rooted in his wife’s inheritance and bestows its beneficence largely on colleges and universities.
ROBERT H. DEDMAN, known to be an old coot, has been around for a while, but as founder and chairman of ClubCorp International, he is still a prominent businessman and an extraordinary philan-ihropi&t. ClubCorp operates some 250 private clubs, golf courses, and real estate developments worldwide, and is adding more properties as Dedman acquires new ones from troubled savings and loans. Now sixty-four, Dedman, an Arkansas native, was graduated from The University of Texas and received a law degree from SMU. As a lawyer, he once represented H.L. Hunt; today, he has ties to another noted conservative-Guv Bill Clements, who has twice appointed him chairman of the state highway commission (where he stirred up considerable controversy as a proponent of double-decking North Central Expressway). Dedman’s philanthropy is legendary: he and his wife gave $25 million to SMU for Dedman College.
HAROLD C. SIMMONS, fifty-nine, an investor and corporate raider, is aloof from local matters, preferring not to serve in a major capacity in civic or charitable affairs. But his money, at last count some $1.7 billion, talks. A small-town boy, the son of school teachers, Simmons has favored medical causes in his giving and was recently dubbed "My Favorite Billionaire" at a Susan G. Komen Foundation fundraiser. Simmons’s largest donations have been saved for the Southwestern Medical Center. In 1989 alone, his foundation donated $47 million to Southwestern for cancer and arthritis research. Now that the floodgates are open, Simmons can expect lots of attention.
RAYMOND D. NASHER, chairman of the board of the Raymond D. Nasher Company, is as solid as they come: his business leverage, his arts prowess, and his civic involvement add up to tremendous influence. Nasher’s gold mine in Dallas has been NorthPark shopping center. He is also principal owner in NorthPark Bank, which managed to grow quickly in the Eighties with help from depositors fleeing the Republic-InterFirst-MBank falls. Nasher, sixty-eight, is heavily involved in the arts and has been a collector since the Fifties; his prized pieces have been displayed at the Dallas Museum of Art, the National Gallery in Washington, and in major galleries of Europe. Mayor Strauss has appointed Nasher as the city’s ambassador of cultural affairs to promote Dallas as an "international center" for the arts, and he is a strong supporter of Israel, active in the American Jewish Committee.
RUTH SHARP ALTSHULER is. and has been for years, the most influential woman in Dallas. She is one of the premier female philanthropists, social, and charitable leaders and is the only woman in Dallas who is perceived (especially by men) to be on the same level as the senior business leaders. She is the only daughter of the late Carr P. Collins, founder of Fidelity Union Life Insurance Co., and the sister of Jim Collins, the late conservative congressman from Dallas. She is a trustee of the Carr P. Collins Foundation and is married to Dr. Kenneth Altshuler, who heads the psychiatry department at Southwestern Medical Center.
NANCY HAMON is the wife of the late Jake Hamon. a wildcatter and former partner of Clint Murchison Sr. Jake and Nancy’s only son committed suicide, leaving her with no heirs. But Dallas has become her beneficiary, and a fortunate one indeed. The gorilla habitat at the zoo, a planned $20 million wing at the DMA, and the Jake and Nancy Hamon Arts Library at SMU are among Hamon’s gifts to the city.
Former Zale president BRUCE LIPSHY now manages his family’s investments full time. After Zale Corporation was sold to Peoples Jewellers of Canada, he practiced law for two years, then took over the Lipshy Group Inc. Long considered the wonder boy among the generations of the Zale and Lipshy families (in-laws as well as business partners), Bruce Lipshy’s business experience, as well as his roots in the old, moneyed Jewish network, have secured him good contacts. Lipshy was instrumental in funding the new Zale-Lipshy University Hospital at UT Southwestern.
The chairman and CEO of Bank One Texas, HARVEY R. MITCHELL, fifty-four, is an old-line Dallas banker, having worked for FirstRepublic, InterFirst, and Metropolitan Savings and Loan. Mitchell, who has the knack of knowing when to "retire" from soon-to-sink ships, was brought out of retirement by his Columbus, Ohio, owners because he knows most of the businessmen in Dallas. With his cigar-chomping, handshake style, Mitchell cultivates an image that plays well among those pining for the "good ol’ boy" days of Texas banking.
MORTON H. MEYERSON is the former president, director, and vice chairman of Electronic Data Systems. Widely credited with EDS’s success, Meyerson now heads his own private investment company, 2M Companies. Though he is frequently invited in on deals, Meyerson hasn’t made a real splash since EDS. With ties to the Democrat-leaning Mayor Strauss and to Republican Ross Perot, he’s a party straddler, and as such, is often handed plum posts by the powers-that-be. Meyerson was on a task force several years ago that studied how to increase the city’s international scope, and he was instrumental in drumming up support across the state for the Superconducting Super Collider project.
Though NANCY BRINKER’S route to power began with her marriage to a very wealthy man, she has held on to it through her own dynamism. Brinker is founder of the Susan G. Komen Foundation (breast cancer education and research) and has national influence through close relationships with both the Vice President and Mrs. Quayle, who is battling cancer herself.
Hubby NORMAN BRINKER, chairman and CEO of Chili’s Incorporated, is a well-respected civic beacon (and generally regarded as a really nice guy). He chaired the city’s bond campaign in 1986, and that’s one reason people sat up and took notice when he railed against DART several years ago for overblowing its transit projections. Brinker is active in national Republican politics and a longtime Bush backer. His success has afforded him expensive hobbies: he’s a former member of the U.S. Olympic equestrian team, with national exposure as a polo player and founder of the Willow Bend Polo and Hunt Club.
LEE CULLUM, editorial page editor of the Dallas Times Herald, is a fixture on the Dallas media scene. Formerly editor of this magazine, Cullum cut her teeth in the early Seventies on the respected "Newsroom," a nightly public affairs program on KERA-TV. But Cullum’s power stems directly from her moneyed family-father Charles Cullum, late uncle Robert Cullum, founders of the Cullum Companies, owner of Tom Thumb groceries-old Dallas oligarchs firmly planted in the city’s power roots. Her family’s position allows Cullum to be an insider, a rare spot for a journalist.
AL HERRON is a wealthy real estate investor (Galloway-Herron) and a leader in the Dallas Black Chamber of Commerce. During his three-year tenure as president, membership in the chamber grew from 200 to 1,200. Known for his long-range thinking, this savvy low-profiler knows how to make the system work. Herron serves on the boards of Wynnewood Bank, Bank of Texas, and Bank of Arlington and is a member of the D/FW Airport Board.
BOB LANE is the new banker to know in town, having been tapped in late summer by NCNB to head its Texas operation, following the departure of President Ken Lewis, who was called home to Charlotte. Sitting on top of assets of some $34 billion statewide, Lane probably can’t even comprehend his own clout just yet. Lane is well respected in business circles, a Texan (important to NCNB’s image), and he is close personal friends with gubernatorial candidate Ann Richards, which won’t hurt his . power quotient should she win November’s election.
LYDA HILL, H.L. Hunt’s grand daughter and a single, savvy businesswoman, is president of a tourism company and a rare female in the local chapter of the Young Presidents’ Organization. Though she’s known for being tight with her money, Hill gives generously of her time-her volunteer work is varied and valued.
By all rights, venerable banker ROBERT H. STEWART III should have landed on the has-been list by now. But the unsinkable Stewart, who led InterFirst from 1972 until 1980 and again from 1984 until its merger with RepublicBank Corporation in 1987, is back in the business again as vice chairman of the board of Team Bank. An initial shareholder in Deposit Guaranty Bank, Stewart is now a force with Team Bank, the result of Guaranty’s purchase of Texas American Banks.
VIN PROTHRO cut his teeth in high tech at Mostek and TI, but he made his money in the semiconductor business as co-founder of Dallas Semiconductor Corporation. Prothro has been active for years on the board of the Dallas Museum of Art, and he led the search that snared the museum’s young director, Rick Brettell. Prothro is known as a hobnobber extraordinaire, using his Stanford and Harvard education connections to gain advantage when he can.
As the most aggressive banker in town these days, GERALD J. FORD bears watching for the growing number of purse-strings he controls. As founder, principal shareholder, and chairman of Ford Bank Group Incorporated. Ford runs an affiliation of twenty-one banks in Texas and New Mexico. In December of 1988, Ford led the investor group that acquired five insolvent thrifts and formed First Gibraltar Bank. now the largest S&L in Texas, which he chairs.
LUCY CROW BILLINGSLEY is chairman and CEO of the Dallas Market Center and the only daughter of mega-real estate developer Trammell Crow. Billingsley has, in many ways, outpaced her five brothers, who have pursued interests ranging from auto racing to pet stores to high-class high-rises, with varying degrees of success. But it is the diminutive, redheaded Lucy who has vigorously pursued control of the family’s huge holdings in the wholesale market district on Stemmons Freeway. Though she often appears too busy to enjoy it. Billingsley has tried to network with key community leaders and elected officials, and she often hosts fundraisers for visiting Republican dignitaries like Marilyn Quayle. She is one of the first women to have been invited to sit on a big bank board, having served as a director of Republic and FirstRepublic.
KEEP AN EYE ON...
L.R. RAYMOND, president of Exxon Corporation, splashed onto the charity circuit with a $100,000 gift to the Dallas Symphony just months after the company announced its relocation to Dallas. If history is any judge, that should be the tip of the iceberg. Nonprofit types are already licking their chops in anticipation of Exxon’s expected largesse.
The son of a former Highland Park mayor. JOEL T. WILLIAMS III is founder and chairman of The Bristol Group, an investment and international merchant banking firm. Williams has positioned himself well for leadership in Dallas in the Nineties, progressing through the anointed channels of a wealthy Highland Park family. SMU business and law schools, and then on to Harvard. Williams was president of the Dallas Assembly in 1988.
JOHN ADAMS, chairman and CEO of Texas Commerce Bank-Dallas, is trying to build TCB’s market share through his civic affairs and to get around the obvious handicap of reporting to Houston, where TCB is based. Both Adams and his young president, Scott McLean (another comer), have positioned themselves well throughout Dallas and are well liked even among banker-bashers. Having built a reputation for fund raising and political networking, Adams is on the board of the symphony, Citizens Council, and the Central Dallas Association. TCB seems to have targeted Hispanics for special attention, and Adams has made strong inroads into the local Hispanic business community.
DAVID COOK, the young whiz kid who founded Blockbuster Video and moved on to another high-tech wonder-Toll-Tags- is a relative newcomer to the power ranks, but he is someone to keep an eye on. With investors like Ross Perot and Mort Meyerson, Cook is already inhabiting a powerful strata, and he has shown an initial interest in conservative law-and-order causes like the "Back the Blue" campaign. In fact, Cook burst into the public eye some months back when he helped police locate a suspected rapist’s pick-up truck by running state license records through his computers. Those who know him say that Cook’s growing wealth is outrun only by his burgeoning ambition.
KENN S. GEORGE is chairman and CEO of Epic Healthcare Group, the country’s third-largest employee-owned company with $950 million in gross revenues. But George’s power extends beyond the circles of successful business. In 1983 he was appointed by Ronald Reagan to a post in the U.S. Department of Commerce. During his tenure, George opened new markets in Northern China and led U.S. trade efforts in the Caribbean and Central America. Public service is a given with George, from the Citizens Council and the Metroplex Medical Council to the TACA board.
One of the area’s dealmakers supreme is RUSTY ROSE, best known as an owner (with George W. Bush and other investors), of the Texas Rangers American League baseball franchise. Rose has varied business interests, from an aluminum window manufacturer to a data processing software company, the common denominator being high return on assets. Rose"s community leadership is equally varied.
JINGER AND RICHARD HEATH, chairman and CEO, respectively, of BeautiControl Cosmetics, have made a mint in the cosmetics business. With their company firmly established as a top growth firm in the U.S., Jinger and Richard have now turned their attention to charitable and civic concerns like the Susan G. Komen Foundation and the Dallas Easter Seals Society for children.
RONALD STEINHART, chairman and CEO of the new Team Bank, appears to be in a position to win points with Texans disgruntled with banks owned out of state. A longtime Texas banker with close ties to Democrat Robert Strauss. Steinhart led the 1986 lobbying effort to bring interstate and branch banking to Texas. He is a former president of InterFirst Corporation of Dallas and vice chairman of First Republic-Bank Corporation, and the founder of Team’s parent company Team Bancshares Incorporated, which raised $270 million from a group of nearly 300 investors, including Robert and Richard Strauss, the Harvard University endowment fund, and Goldman, Sachs. Steinhart doesn’t choose to exercise his muscle much, but he could if he wanted to.
MICHAEL PRENTISS, chief executive of Prentiss Properties, has not only managed to make money in real estate over the past few years, he has demonstrated that deals are his for the taking. Three years ago. Prentiss closed one of the biggest real estate deals in U.S. history, buying the U.S. assets of his former bosses at Cadillac Fairview for some $450 million. Prentiss is amassing $200 million to form Prentiss Properties Acquisition Partners. When the fund is complete, his buying spree should be something to watch.
PHIL COBB is among the few in Dal las who made their millions while real es tate tycoons were crashing around them. In October of 1986, Cobb and partner Gene Street sold their Prufrock Restaurants chain for more than $45 million. Since then. Cobb and wife Diana have created a philanthropic foundation known for donating to progres sive nonprofits. Cobb proved his prowess at city and federal politics by railroading his McKinney Avenue trolley project through the bureaucratic maze.
THE HIT LIST
Finding individuals who aren’t sick of fundraising spiels and who have the money to follow up on their intentions will be a challenge in the Nineties. But here are a few to watch, plus the people who pull the purse strings at Dallas’s biggest foundations:
Former partners Tom Hicks and Bobby Haas made big bucks with their leveraged buyouts of popular soda pops, Dr Pepper. Seven-Up, and A&w. Now local charities all want to be Peppers, too.
Mrs. Eugene McDermott is the widow of a Tl co-founder and the sole decision-maker on where the money’s spent; she supports a wide variety of causes: education (UD), the arts, health, and the Dallas Arboretum.
Amelia "Mimi" Lay Hodges is another decision-maker who likes "pretty" projects like the performing arts, the Arboretum, etc.
Ralph B. Rogers is regularly one of the single largest contributors to Parkland Hospital. He is best known for gelling public TV off the ground in Dallas.
Bob Dedmar Jr., the son of ClubCorp chief and local philanthropist Robert Dedman, is certainly no clone; he’ll be able to carry on his father’s tradition, but will he want to?
Dr. P.O’B. Montgomery has ingrained his fundraising skills and support of the arts into the hearts and minds of his four sons.
Carolyn Bacon oversees the S55-million O’Donnell Foundation: which is the fourth largest in the city.
Ed Fjordbak, Communities Foundation of Texas president, controls more than S150 million in assets for charitable disbursement.
Curtis Meadows and Salty Lancaster rule the Meadows Foundation’s $475-million endowment with brains and compassion.
Bob Dedmar Jr., the son of ClubCorp chief and local philanthropist Robert Dedman, is certainly no clone; he’ll be able to carry on his father’s tradition, but will he want to?
Dr. P.O’B. Montgomery has ingrained his fundraising skills and support of the arts into the hearts and minds of his four sons.
Carolyn Bacon oversees the S55-million O’Donnell Foundation: which is the fourth largest in the city.
Ed Fjordbak, Communities Foundation of Texas president, controls more than S150 million in assets for charitable disbursement.
Curtis Meadows and Salty Lancaster rule the Meadows Foundation’s $475-million endowment with brains and compassion.
POWER
PROFILE Ross Perot jr., THE MAGNATE, IS NOT JUST FOLLOWING IN HIS FATHER’S FOOTSTEPS. HE’S MAKING TRACKS OF HIS OWN.
H. Ross Perot Jr.’s easy charm can make you forget that you are going to fly in a glass bubble, hundreds of feet in the air, and could come crashing to the ground if the whoop whoop whoop suddenly stopped. He gracefully maneuvers the helicopter from the parking garage of his Merit Drive office, just a stone’s throw from where he grew up in Greenway Parks and later Strait Lane, and heads up Central Expressway to Richardson and The Perot Group’s Shiloh Business Park. This is the beginning of a tour Perot gave 115 times last year while trying to sell his Alliance Airport project in North Fort Worth, and he’s used to nervous passengers: "Especially the Japanese-they don’t realize I’m the one who is going to fly."
Perot looks the part of the young marketing guy. He’s well prepared for businessman’s bull with an education at St. Mark’s and Vanderbilt. At thirty-one, he’s old enough to be convincing when he puts on the white shirt and blue suit for a dog-and-pony show. The surprise comes when you realize this blond-haired boy is the principal, the managing partner, not just the intermediary for his famous father. Then he whips out his aviator sunglasses and fires up the helicopter. It’s no wonder some Japanese get nervous.
But Perot solves that little problem as easily as he has handled (he Fort Worth City Council during the development of Alliance. He just walks potential clients through a hallway filled with photographs and maps tracing his 1982 record-setting flight around the world with veteran pilot Jay Coburn. By the time clients get to the helicopter, they know Perot’s a veteran, too.
And Ross Jr. is a veteran at more than flying. He’s weathered what have been tragic times for many real estate investors and has come out a winner as developer of what is destined to become one of the largest planned real estate developments in the country. At its center is Alliance Airport, the first airport in the United States designed as an industrial, rather than passenger, airport. Muck to Perot’s credit, the airport has been the fastest built in Federal Aviation Administration history.
Perot is as comfortable with his role as first and fastest as he is with being his father’s son. On the way to Alliance, he casually calls out (he sights. First we fly over the beautiful Circle T ranch, which Perot calls "one of the best pieces of real estate left in North Texas," and then along the future route of State Highway 170. The 6.8-mile freeway will link the D/FW Airport and Alliance. In what’s become typical Ross Jr, style, the freeway progressed from conception to groundbreaking in a mere two and a half years; it’s believed to be (he fastest highway construction project in modern Texas history. The Perot Group owns 12,000 acres along the route and helped it toward its early construction dale by donating 430 acres of right-of-way, along with planning and engineering studies, to the Texas Highway Commission.
"To block it up we closed eleven pieces in (he same day within twenty minutes of each other" Perot says,
Perot doesn’t think he’s manhandling the public sector when he pushes their joint developments along. He learned early on in public-private partnerships that the private sector can get (he work done, then hand it over for public approval and progress light years beyond (he normal municipal pace. Though Perot has not escaped criticism for his aggressiveness as the dirt began to fly at Alliance, he says he hasn’t overstepped his bounds. He simplifies any conflict: "If the city was getting ready to make a mistake, then we got involved."
tool points ahead to Lake Grapevine, matter-of-factly adding that the old Perot lakehouse there is where the men were trained for his father’s famed 1979 rescue of two EDS workers (rapped in Iran. "And right down there is where my first dog is buried," he adds.
Past the lake, Alliance looms ahead. The runway is massive, the site colossal. Perot doesn’t have to say a word to impress his passengers from this vantage. The infrastructure spreads before us like a Mapsco set upon cornfields as Perot circles around to explain its logic and tell its future. American Airlines’ $481-million aircraft maintenance facility rises from the plowed-up prairie below.
"This airport can handle any aircraft flying today," Perot says. "We can land planes by computer in zero visibility." The railroad, the highway system, and the runway will work together on this site to create a super-efficient industrial complex. The Santa Fe railroad will move 125,000 cars a year through here, he says...
Perot’s dreams don’t sound the least bit dreamlike. He knows he can make this project happen. While other real estate developers have been stalled in this decade by banks who had them in a death grip, The Perot Group’s projects are financed "internally," Perot says, which has allowed him to move forward while competitors are forced to drag the chains of their past. The Perot Group is building the new Kansas City Convention Center and is bidding on a huge tollroad project in California. They have other projects in Houston, Austin, and Atlanta.
By financial standards it will be decades before Alliance is a success. Perot bought this land before the real estate crash, and he has said that the land’s value has now decreased by at least half. Like many other investors who put their money in raw land as a hedge against inflation, The Perot Group would probably have been better off in T-bills. But Ross spent it in North Fort Worth. He personally bought the first 305-acre piece here in 1983, Now he has redefined success in non-financial terms-he wants to add two to three users a year to Alliance.
"This is where Piano was fifteen years ago," Perot says.
And by the time Perot’s hair turns gray, or falls out, Alliance will be the city that Ross-Ross Jr.-built.
BY SALLY GIDDENS
SOCIAL WORKERS
Power in the boardroom translates to power In the ballroom. Too bad these women haven’t been running Texas banks and S&Ls.
CARLA FRANCIS-put the panache and the cash In Crystal Charity
DORIS DIXON-reminded
everyone that the USO Still exists
NANCY HALBREICH-her passion for the arts and high profile help her raise big bucks
JOYCE MITCHELL-waves a magic wand over corporations for children, arts, and disease causes
SISTIE AND BROOKE STOLLENWERCK-the original mother/daughter tag team of arts fundraising
CYNTHIA MELNICK-efficiency’s the key; she sells ball tables In her sleep
KARLA TEMERLIN-a powerhouse for civic causes even without husband Liener’s influence

RICH (AND POWERFUL) NO MORE . . .
SHERWOOD BLOUNT-real estate developer and SMU pay-for-play buffoon Is gone with the Eighties
BILL BROSSEAU-private club partier extraordinaire lost it in art oil slick
BEN CARPENTER-his beloved Las Colinas is now owned by another
CRAIG HALL-tax law changes and sorry S&Ls sunk his syndication deals
JESS HAY-his Lomas Financial Corp. is now bankrupt
KEN HUGHES-real estate developments like the Quadrangle redo were pretty but not profitable
HUNT BROS.-beyond greed, stupidity got them
MACK POGUE-Lincoln Property Co. is still crippled from the crash
LOU REESE-this fat cat real estate player plays no more
JOHN AND JERE THOMPSON- their LBO-ed Southland Corporation has been Junked by junk bonds

TEN BIGGEST GIFTS
HERE ARE TEN OF THE SINGLE LARGEST CASH DONATIONS MADE IN DALLAS-ONETIME SHOTS THAT MADE A SIC SPLASH. ANONYMOUS GIFTS NOT INCLUDED.
$47 million-Harold Simmons to UT Southwestern Medical Center
$30-35 million-Aleut N. Meadows to SMU
$25 million-Robert and Nancy Dedman to SMU
$20 million-Nancy Hamon to Dallas Museum of Art
$20 million-H. Ross Perot to UT Southwestern Medical Center
$18 million-Harry S. Moss Hurt Trust to UT Southwestern Medical Center
$12.4 million-Excellence in Education Foundation (Cecil Green, Erik Jonsson) to UTD
$12 million-H. Ross Perot to the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center
$10 million-Cecil H. and Ida M. Green to UT Southwestern Medical Center
$8-9 million-Greer Carson Fogelson to SMU