Former Delaware governor, congressman Pierre ‘Pete’ du Pont dies at 86

Pete du Pont
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Pierre “Pete” du Pont, a former Delaware governor, state and U.S. representative and presidential candidate, died at the age of 86 on Saturday.  

Du Pont’s former chief of staff, Bob Perkins, told The Associated Press on Sunday that the longtime Republican died at his home in Wilmington, Delaware after a long illness. 

Perkins said that a memorial service for du Pont we be held at a later date due to the coronavirus pandemic, the AP noted. 

According to his National Governors Association (NGA) biography, du Pont was born in 1935 in Delaware and attended the Phillips Exeter Academy and Princeton and Harvard universities. He also served as a U.S. Naval Reserve Officer as part of the Seabees. 

In 1960, du Pont began at his father’s business, E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Company, Inc., where he worked for seven years before breaking into politics. He was elected as a state representative in Delaware in 1968 and served for three years.

Du Pont was then elected as a U.S. representative in 1970, serving three terms before being elected as Delaware’s governor in 1976. He was reelected in that position four years later, according to NGA.  

He later ran unsuccessfully for the Republican presidential nomination in 1988.

Du Pont also created Jobs for Graduates, a job-counseling program for high school students, the NGA noted.

–Updated on May 27 at 12:12 p.m.

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