Billionaire H. Ross Perot returned to his alma mater and said the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md., taught him perseverance. "I think a lot of my business success comes from my inability to recognize that I had failed," the Texas businessman said in a speech Tuesday. Perot grew up in a family of modest means in Texarkana, Texas, and said the academy was his best hope for a college education. He spent three years trying to get admitted and still treasures the telegram announcing his acceptance. He urged midshipmen to apply the academy's ethics code to their lives. "Don't run your life by what's legal or illegal. Run your life based on what's right or wrong," he said. "If you don't learn anything else, it's worth the time you spent here."