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Richard E. Heckert papers

1973-1992
 Collection
Accession: 2070

Abstract

Richard E. Heckert (1924-2010) was chairman and CEO of E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Company from 1986 to 1989. His papers consist of his "personal" business files, most of which were generated by his membership on the boards of businesses and non-profit organizations.

Dates

  • 1973-1992

Creator

Extent

21 Linear Feet

Biographical Note

Richard E. Heckert (1924-2010) was chairman and CEO of E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Company from 1986 to 1989.

Heckert was born in Oxford, Ohio, on January 13, 1924, and received his Ph.D. from the University of Illinois in organic chemistry in 1949. He joined the staff of DuPont the same year as a research chemist, working on cellophane and films. He became a director, senior vice president, and a member of the Executive Committee on October 1, 1973; president, chief operating officer, and vice chairman of the Executive Committee on May 1, 1981; vice chairman on October 1, 1981; deputy chairman on August 28, 1985; and chairman and chief executive officer on May 5, 1986. Heckert acted to withdraw DuPont from its management of the Savannah River Plant nuclear site and to phase out the manufacture of chlorofluorocarbons after they had been proved to damage the ozone layer. Heckert was active in a number of national business, educational, and philathropic organizations, including the National Association of Manufacturers, of which he was board chairman in 1988-1989, and the Carnegie Institution of Washington. He died at his home near West Chester, Pennsylvania, on January 3, 2010.

Scope and Contents

The Richard E. Heckert papers consist of his "personal" business files, most of which were generated by his membership on the boards of businesses and non-profit organizations.

The most significant portions of the papers are those that describe Heckert's work with the Carnegie Institution, Bretton Woods Committee, the National Academy of Sciences, the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, and Catalyst, Inc., an organization concerned with improving educational and career opportunities for women. In this capacity, Heckert was an important advocate for educational reform, investment in scientific training, and high technology. The files contain information packets and agendas issued to directors or trustees, covering such subjects as overall policy, financial management, and the appointment of executive officers. Heckert also served on the boards of several state and local organizations, particularly the Longwood Foundation; the files contain substantial information on the management of Longwood Gardens.

The business activities series covers Heckert's tenure on the boards of the American Stores Company (parent of Acme Markets), the St. Regis Paper Company, the Sperry Corporation, and Unisys Corporation. Among the professional and trade associations represented are the National Association of Manufacturers, the Advisory Committee for Trade Negotiations, the Business Council, and the Society of the Chemical Industry. The primary focus is on business lobbying for tax reform and free trade, including coverage of the Uruguay Round of GATT and the work leading up to the North American Free Trade Agreement. Among the files for arranging meetings are a number of brochures and menus for the Homestead Hotel in Hot Springs, Virginia.

There is relatively little information about Heckert's role at DuPont. Most of the material is routine information supplied to directors. There is a history of the Textile Fibers Department and papers relating to celebrating the 25th anniversary of DuPont Japan, Ltd.

The third series consists of copies of Heckert's speeches before a number of business and civic venues, arranged chronologically.

Access Restrictions

No restrictions on access; this collection is open for research.

Language of Materials

English


Additional Information

Related Names

Creator

Finding Aid & Administrative Information

Title:
Richard E. Heckert papers
Status:
Description rules:
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description:
English
Script of description:
Latin

Revision Statements

  • 2021: Ashley Williams

Repository Details

Repository Details

Part of the Manuscripts and Archives Repository

Contact:
PO Box 3630
Wilmington Delaware 19807 USA
302-658-2400