Perry was a homebuilder and philanthropist that became one of the most important GOP donors in Texas and then in the Country. He is known as the top contributor to the 'Swift Boat' ad campaign that attacked then-presidential hopeful John Kerry.
His death was confirmed by Neal T. Jones, Jr., a family friend and former Texas state representative. Perry died in his sleep at his home in Nassau Bay, Texas, and no cause was given.
From 2000 to 2010 Mr. Perry contributed at least $66 million to candidates and causes, according to The Texas Tribune.
Perry was a major source of campaign funding for Republican candidates, donating generously to Texas governors George W. Bush and Rick Perry (no relation). His giving increased as regulations lightened, donating to Super PACs American Crossroads and Restore Our Future.
Perry attended Baylor University and taught high school history before going to work in construction. He founded Perry Homes in 1968. He and his wife, Doylene, have four grown children.