Oldham taught legions of young people to communicate quickly, clearly and with passion, a lesson that has served me well in my life since then." Upon graduation from college in 1972, Perry was commissioned as an officer in the United States Air Force and completed pilot training in February 1974.
A coroner heard that the 21-year-old could not admit his problems to his family and ignored his mother's attempts to talk to him before his death.
He lived away from his parents after moving from the family home to study music technology at South Thames College in London.
In a 1989 interview, he said that "I was probably a bit of a free spirit, not particularly structured real well for life outside of a military regime, I would have not lasted at Texas Tech or the University of Texas.
I would have hit the fraternity scene and lasted about one semester." In the early 1970s, Perry interned during several summers with the Southwestern Company, as a door-to-door book salesman.
A young insurance administrator hanged himself after he could not find a way to tell his parents he had lost his job, an inquest heard.