Pete du Pont

Pete du PontPete du Pont

Pete du Pont is a regular columnist on, the editorial page website of The Wall Street Journal. Entitled, Outside the Box, du Pont's columns discuss current public policy and political matters.


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.

In 1996, Pete du Pont co-founded, a weekly on-line public policy journal featuring the leading ideas of renowned public policy thinkers. He served as editor of this e-zine and bylined his own column until its sale in 2000. In October, 1999, named du Pont as one of the "50 best, most important, and most influential journalists on the Internet." And Yahoo! Internet Life awarded the Best Political Commentary site of 1998.

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, 1971-1977. He was a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee, and in l975 was picked by Time magazine as one of America's "200 Faces for the Future."

In l976, Pete du Pont was elected Governor of Delaware. He was re-elected in l980 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 the highest substance-to-blather ratio among candidates, even on subjects as sensitive as agriculture policy and Social Security."

Newsweek observed that, "What is consistent and refreshing in his positions is that they confront big, difficult choices and offer clear, unhedged answers."

In 1990, Pete du Pont was appointed by the Hudson Institute to be a member of the International Blue Ribbon Commission established at the request of prominent Hungarian political leadership to prepare detailed economic proposals for the Hungarian government that assumed office after the parliamentary election in March, 1990. The commission explored the challenges that issues such as free trade, private ownership, labor law, taxes, social welfare and inflation present to a nation attempting to move from socialism to a market economy.

A leader in the debate on how to improve education, in 1984 Pete du Pont served as Chairman of the Education Commission of the States, a national organization of educators dedicated to improving all facets of American education.

du Pont was a member of the National Commission on Economic Growth and Tax Reform. The Commission was established by Speaker Gingrich and Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole to examine overhauling the tax system. The Commission's January report called for repeal of the existing tax code and its replacement with a low, single-rate tax with a generous personal exemption.

Pete du Pont served as Chairman of the Hudson Institute from 1985-1987 and the National Review Institute from 1994-1997.

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 l968 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, four granddaughters and three grandsons.

Mrs. du Pont, an attorney, has served as Assistant Administrator of the Bureau for Private Enterprise for the Agency for International Development in Washington, D.C. Mrs. du Pont was appointed to that post by President Reagan.