Pete du Pont has served as a state legislator, U.S. Congressman, Governor, and in 1988 was a Republican candidate for President of the United States.
Pete du Pont began his political career in 1968 with his election to the House of Representatives of the Delaware General Assembly. He served for six years in the U.S. House of Representatives, from 1971-1977. He was a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee, and in 1975 was picked by Time magazine as one of America’s “200 Faces for the Future.”
In 1976, Pete du Pont was elected Governor of Delaware. He was re-elected in 1980 to a second term, winning a record 7l% of the vote and becoming the first Delaware Governor reelected in 20 years.
During his tenure as Delaware’s Governor, du Pont restored financial integrity to the state government. He signed into law two income tax reduction measures, the first tax reductions in Delaware’s history, and a constitutional amendment that restrained future tax increases and limited government spending. He balanced his state budget eight out of eight years.
In selecting him as one of the “Delawareans of the Century,” the Wilmington News Journal said, “He set the stage for prosperity. As Delaware’s governor, du Pont revived [the] business climate.” As Governor, Pete du Pont also focused his energies on education and preventing youth unemployment.
In 1979, he founded the nonprofit “Jobs for Delaware Graduates,” an employment counseling and job placement program for high school seniors not bound for college. This successful program gave birth in 1980 to “Jobs for America’s Graduates,” an identical movement currently functioning in twenty some states and foreign countries.
In his campaign for the Presidency, du Pont’s focus was upon the central issues facing our country — the economy, taxes, education, retirement income, and defense.
Columnist George Will said about du Pont’s 1988 campaign: “du Pont has what Newsweek observed that, “What is consistent and refreshing in his positions is that they confront big, difficult choices and offer clear, unhedged answers.”
He received his Bachelor of Science in Engineering in 1956 from Princeton University. After graduating from Princeton, he served as a lieutenant in the U.S. Navy from 1957-1960. He graduated with his Doctors of Law degree from Harvard University in l963.
Upon graduation from Harvard, he joined the Du Pont Company at its Wilmington, Delaware headquarters, and held several positions there until 1968 when he resigned as quality control supervisor to begin his political career.
Pete du Pont was born in Wilmington, Delaware, on January 22, 1935. He is married to the former Elise R. Wood. They have a daughter, three sons, six granddaughters and four grandsons.
Photo credit to Family Man Studios Flickr.