Pierre Samuel "Pete" du Pont, IV papers1867-2019
Pierre Samuel du Pont, IV (1935 -2021), known by many as "Pete," was the sixty-eighth governor of Delaware from 1977 to 1985. In 1987, du Pont started his campaign for president, running as a Republican candidate. After his withdrawal from the presidential race, Pete du Pont resigned from politics and became a partner at Delaware law firm Richards, Layton & Finger. Du Pont was a published writer and member of several academic and political institutions throughout his life and professional career. The collection is predominantly textual material, the bulk of which is du Pont's published writing and professional correspondence as a politician and lawyer. There are photographic prints included that document du Pont's personal life with his family and general du Pont family legacy media coverage. The video portion chronicles du Pont's public appearances, as well as television programs and forums that highlight general conservative talking points, and the work of the National Center for Policy Analysis. The material spans from the mid-twentieth century to the early twenty-first century.
28 Linear Feet
6 scrapbooks. 4 sound tape reels. 4 plaques. 587 photographic prints. 76 slides. 18 negatives. 68 videocassettes (VHS). 7 videocassettes (U-Matic). 1 videotape (1 inch). Over 1,000 papers.
There is no Box 17 for this collection.
Pierre Samuel du Pont, IV (1935-2021), known by many as "Pete," served as the sixty-eighth governor of Delaware. He was the son of Pierre Samuel du Pont, III (1911-1988) and Jane Holcomb (1913-1985). Pete du Pont married Elise Ravenal Wood (1935-) in 1957, and the two had four children. Before entering government, du Pont attended Princeton University, where he received his bachelor's degree in Engineering. He later attended Harvard Law School and received his doctoral degree in Law in 1963.
After law school, Pete du Pont entered the world of politics. He won the election to the House of Representatives of the Delaware General Assembly in 1968. He served as Delaware's lone Congressman from 1971 to 1977. In 1977, du Pont ran in the Delaware gubernatorial election and became the state's governor. He served as governor until 1985. Pete du Pont was known for leading the implementation of the Financial Center Development Act, which catapulted the development of the credit card industry in Delaware. He was also an advocate for students and recent graduates entering the workforce, participating in the organization Jobs for America's Graduates.
In 1987, du Pont started his campaign for president, running as a Republican candidate. However, in 1988, du Pont withdrew from the race and gave his support to fellow candidate George H.W. Bush (1924-2018). After his withdrawal from the presidential race, Pete du Pont resigned from politics and became a partner at Delaware law firm Richards, Layton & Finger.
Throughout his life and professional career, du Pont was a published writer and member of several academic and political institutions, including the Hudson Institute and the National Center for Policy Analysis (NCPA). From 1992 until 2010, du Pont consistently wrote for NCPA, having his own column called "The du Pont Letter." In 1996, du Pont co-founded IntellectualCapital.com, one of the first online political magazines. He was also a regular writer for the Wall Street Journal's editorial section, OpinionJournal.com.
Scope and Contents
This collection documents the professional and personal life of former Delaware governor Pierre Samuel du Pont, IV. The material spans from the mid-twentieth century to the early twenty-first century. The collection is predominantly textual material, the bulk of which is du Pont's published writing and professional correspondence as a politician and lawyer. There are photographic prints included that document du Pont's personal life with his family and general du Pont family legacy media coverage. The video portion chronicles du Pont's public appearances from the mid-1980s to the early 2000s, as well as television programs and forums that highlight general conservative talking points, and the work of the National Center for Policy Analysis.
The collection is arranged into six series, four of which are arranged further into sub-series: I. Published writing A. National Center for Policy Analysis B. Opinion Journal C. Intellectual Capital D. Magazines, journals, and other writings II. Presidential Campaign A. Correspondence B. Strategy C. Republican National Convention files D. Finances III. Gubernatorial and professional career A. Correspondence B. Schedules, planning, and finances C. Media IV. Speeches V. du Pont family personal files VI. Videos A. Presidential campaign B. Television broadcasts and appearances C. Speeches and forums D. National Center for Policy Analysis
The published writing series has four sub-series for each platform that Pete du Pont has written for:
The National Center for Policy Analysis sub-series includes the drafts and final copies of Pete du Pont's columns for the think tank, as well as the monthly and yearly column schedules, from 1992 to 2010. These schedules are indexes of each of du Pont's columns with the exact date and title of the work. Pete du Pont had his own specific column called The du Pont Letter . He primarily wrote about tax cuts, the state of welfare, medical savings accounts, and the presidential elections between 1992 and 2010.
The Opinion Journal sub-series includes du Pont's columns that he wrote for the Wall Street Journal's editorial page, OpinionJournal.com. The published material included spans from 2000 to 2013. The sub-series includes schedules, drafts, final copies, and the material du Pont researched in order to write the columns. These schedules are indexes of each of du Pont's columns with the exact date and title of the work. Pete du Pont primarily wrote about the current presidential campaigns of the time, including that of George W. Bush, as well as his thoughts on education, and social issues, such as the rate of crime in the United States. Du Pont also continues to discuss economics, advocating for tax cuts and the creation of jobs.
The Intellectual Capital sub-series includes du Pont's writing for the online magazine. The written material dates from 1996 to 2000. The sub-series includes drafts and final copies of the columns, as well as an anthology of du Pont's writing for Intellectual Capital. With the drafts and final copies are indexes of du Pont's writing for Intellectual Capital over the years. He primarily wrote about taxes, education, and a general advocation of the Republican party policies.
The Magazines, journals, and other writings sub-series include the writing of du Pont as well as other authors, both in print and online formats. The sub-series includes newspapers, such as The Washington Post and The Boston Globe; magazines, such as National Review, The World and I, and Forbes; and journals from various foundations that du Pont was affiliated with, including The Heritage Foundation. These pieces are primarily about current events and politics of the time, often covering similar topics that du Pont had written about on his other platforms.
The second series in this collection is the Presidential campaign series. This series documents du Pont's presidential campaign that ran during the mid to late 1980s.
The Correspondence sub-series covers du Pont's communication with his staff and other politicians as he prepared to run and began his campaign for office. The correspondence is arranged by month and year for the majority of the sub-series, beginning in 1978, while du Pont was still the Delaware governor, and ending in 1991.
The Strategy sub-series includes Pete du Pont's written stances on various political issues, as well as the scheduling and planning of campaign-related events. The sub-series also includes surveys and voter trend data performed by the Pete du Pont for President campaign team.
The Republican National Convention files sub-series documents the 1988 Republican National Convention in New Orleans, Louisiana. Pete du Pont was present at this event and was invited to speak and attend various events held by fellow Republican politicians. The sub-series includes travel documents, events printed matter, photographs with George H.W. Bush, itineraries, and some media coverage.
The Finances sub-series includes documentation of the Pete du Pont for President organization spending and fundraising. Payroll records, campaign expenses, fundraising logs, and the Federal Election Commission audit of the Pete du Pont for President organization are included in this sub-series.
The third series in the collection is the Gubernatorial and professional career series. The series covers du Pont's life as the governor of Delaware and continues into his later professional career as a lawyer and member of committees for organizations, including the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation and the Whitman Corporation.
The Correspondence sub-series includes the written and typed correspondence of Pete du Pont and his colleagues in the governor's office and at Richard, Layton & Finger law firm. There are several emails and memorandums included in the correspondence series.
The Schedules, planning, and finances sub-series include Pete du Pont's daily scheduling as the governor, as well as election data, travel documents, financial files, campaign planning documents, and political policy reports. This sub-series gives insight to du Pont's responsibilities in his various professional roles.
The Media sub-series includes du Pont's own documentation of his professional life, through the creation of scrapbooks and writing of manuscripts, as well as the general media's coverage of du Pont through newspaper and magazine publications. The sub-series includes drafts of du Pont's book, Tyuleniy Island, an historical fiction novel set in Russia, as well as the documented process of writing the Pete du Pont biography, including interviews and editorial correspondence.
The fourth series, Speeches, includes du Pont's addresses from 1981 to 2012. Pete du Pont's addresses as a congressman, governor, member of the National Center for Policy Analysis, and partner at Richard, Layton & Finger are included.
The fifth series is the du Pont family personal files. It covers the du Pont family history as well as the personal life of Pete du Pont, Elise Ravenal, and their children. The series includes photographic prints and negatives of du Pont and his extended family, essays and memorabilia from Harvard Law School, trust agreements for relatives, journals, letters, and holiday cards.
The sixth and final series in the collection is the Videos series. It chronicles Pete du Pont's public appearances from the mid-1980s to the early 2000s, television programs and forums that highlight general conservative talking points, and the work of the National Center for Policy Analysis.
The Presidential Campaign sub-series contains videos related to du Pont's run for President of the United States between 1985 and 1988. This includes media coverage of the campaign, du Pont's television interviews, commercials, fundraising events, and debates with fellow Republican candidates.
The Television Broadcasts and Appearances sub-series contains general television broadcasts where either Pete du Pont is present or conservative subjects are highlighted. The formats are primarily interviews and debates. Full episodes of programs such as Firing Line, Dateline: Washington, and Debates: Debates are included, as well as clips from various CNN, C-SPAN, ABC, PBS, and other major network shows.
The Speeches and Forums sub-series contains video recordings of forums and speeches where du Pont is either present or a politically conservative viewpoint is discussed. Subjects include du Pont's farewell address to the Delaware Assembly, Republican National Committee 1988 Convention highlights, Reagan tax cuts, and more.
The final sub-series covers the work of the National Center for Policy Analysis in the 1990s and early 2000s. It includes segments from the NCPA-produced show Focus Point , television appearances by co-founder John Goodman, public programs sponsored by NCPA, and more.
25-year time seal from the date of creation due to privacy/security reasons.
Negatives, slide transparencies, and audio reels are stored at Cold Storage. Please contact staff 48 hours in advance of research visit at
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Finding Aid & Administrative Information
- Pierre Samuel "Pete" du Pont, IV papers
- Jamie Bressmer; Video series by Ona Coughlan
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PO Box 3630
Wilmington Delaware 19807 USA