Pete du Pont

1935 - XXXX

Pierre Samuel "Pete" du Pont IV

While the news of Governor du Pont’s passing was not unexpected, all those at the Pete du Pont Freedom Foundation are deeply saddened by this great loss.  For a shining moment in Delaware’s history, the State had a great leader and a steadfast friend.  Pete du Pont possessed clear vision, buoyant enthusiasm and a fascination for innovative approaches to old problems.


When the du Pont Administration began, rancor and confrontation were commonplace.  Delaware faced enormous challenges, including a financial structure that drove employers away at the very time that good jobs were critical to our future.  State government spent more than it could afford; tax increases were the solution of choice for prior administrations; and no one had a plan to attract jobs and rebuild the economy. Pete changed all that by winning the confidence, even affection, of former political opponents. With that cultural change in Dover and with critical support from the loyal opposition, he forged consensus about Constitutional financial reforms and tax reductions.  More remarkable, Governor du Pont spotted opportunity in the Nation’s hodge-podge of bank laws, positioning Delaware as a center for the credit card industry.  No single piece of legislation has had more immediate or significant impact on Delaware’s economy.


Beyond these specific accomplishments, Pete demonstrated that good will, humor and a genuine sense of neighborliness, coupled with clear vision, can transform a State.  Those values are in short supply these days, making Pete du Pont’s passing yet more noteworthy.  Delaware will miss its good friend, Pete du Pont.


The Pete du Pont Freedom Foundation exists to preserve that legacy by honoring the Governor’s accomplishments while creating enthusiasm for innovation that can nurture our future.


In lieu of cards or flowers, the du Pont family asks that you make a donation on Pete's behalf to the Pete du Pont Freedom Foundation or the Alzheimer's Foundation of America. 

Pete's Legacy

"He reorganized the state government in a way which was so powerfully correct that nobody has dared deviate from it since then. I doubt that they will - unless they make it better, which is always possible." - Elise du Pont

"I think his legacy to the state of Delaware is one of order, process, civility and cooperation. I think when people talk about how good Delaware is at bringing the right people together in the same room at the right time and coming to a decision about what to do for Delaware that Pete is the one who coalesced those skills." - Marna Whittington

A Timeline for Prosperity

  • 1968 - Elected to the Delaware House of Representatives

  • 1970 - Elected to the United States House of Representatives

  • 1972 - Elected to the United States House of Representatives for a second term

  • 1974 - Elected to the United States House of Representatives for a third term

  • 1976 - Elected to the Office of Governor of the State of Delaware

    • 1977 - Issued Executive Order 1

    • 1978 - Led successful implementation of school desegregation

    • 1979 - Sponsored successful tax-cut legislation bill

    • 1979 - Created the Governor's School for Excellence

    • 1979 - Created Jobs for Delaware Graduates

    • 1980 - Rainy Day Fund enacted

  • 1980 - Elected to the Office of Governor of the State of Delaware for a second term

    • 1981 - Financial Center Development Act passed

Pete du Pont's Speeches

Pete du Pont's ability to communicate his passion for improving Delaware was no more evident than in his time when he addressed the public. From his Re-election Announcement address in 1980 to his Farewell Address as Governor of Delaware in 1985, read all of former Governor du Pont's iconic speeches. Click here read.

Pete du Pont's Articles

After retiring from public office, Pete remained active in policy and served as policy chairman of the Dallas-based National Center for Policy Analysis where he penned a regular column. Click here read.

The Pete du Pont Freedom Award

The Pete du Pont Freedom Award, established in 2003, honors Pete's legacy by celebrating the entrepreneurial spirit of an individual - who has implemented a successful idea, which has led to economic growth or brought innovation to the private sector. Click here to learn more.

Leave a message below to show your support. You can also upload your favorite photo of Pete.


PO Box 221

Montchanin, DE 19710

  • Instagram - Black Circle
  • Facebook - Black Circle

©2017 Pete du Pont Freedom Foundation