The du Pont family has long been one of the most prominent families in the United States. Best-known for their affiliation with the company named after them. DuPont is a chemical company based in Wilmington, Delaware. Its roots can be traced back to a gunpowder mill founded by Eleuthere Irenee du Pont in the early 19th Century.

Some du Pont family members probably shouldn't be held as role models. A convicted murderer is among the members, a case that inspired the highly-acclaimed 2014 movie "Foxcatcher". But others have had soaring successes in various fields, including politics.

Including Pete du Pont.

Died on May 8, 2021

Pierre Samuel du Pont IV has passed away. He was much better known by his nickname of "Pete." The family's original Pierre Samuel had been president of General Motors.

After attending the expected elite schools, Pete du Pont served as a Seabee in the United States Navy. He then spent several years working with the family business before making a foray into politics. In 1968, he was elected to the Delaware House of Representatives as a Republican.

Two years later, incumbent Republican William Roth chose not to run for re-election to the U.S. House of Representatives. Delaware had, and still does have, a single seat in the House. Roth instead made a successful campaign for the U.S.

Senate, rising to become among its most high-profile members.

du Pont won the race to succeed Roth in the U.S. House. He would be re-elected twice. In 1976, he ran for a different post. That being governor of Delaware. He would defeat the Democratic incumbent Governor Sherman W. Tribbitt.

His tenure as governor would result in big changes for Delaware.

He would make sweeping changes to the state's tax laws and financial regulations. Controversial for sure, but they made, and still make, Delaware something of a financial epicenter in the United States. The new laws would lead some of the world's biggest financial companies to make Delaware a home. Including Chase, Bank of America, Barclays and TD Bank.

In 1980, du Pont won re-election in a landslide. Term limits brought his gubernatorial career to an end. Instead, he eventually locked his sights on the 1988 Republican Presidential nomination. The attempt would be an unsuccessful one. As noted by The Washington Post, a number of voters were put off by his famous family. Something that hadn't been much of an issue for him before in Delaware politics. The nomination went to Vice President George H.W. Bush, who went on to win the general election.

The former governor and legislator would take on a number of other roles in his later career. Including chairing the Education Commission of the States and a number of think tanks. After his passing, du Pont's bipartisan works were noted by Delaware Democrats.

Including current President and former Delaware U.S. Senator Joe Biden. And current Delaware Democratic U.S. Senator Tom Carper. According to WHYY, Carper said their state is a better place today because of du Pont.

Others in the family have also been elected to office

Various members of the family have been involved in politics in different ways. Pete was at least the fourth member to don the famed name and successfully hold an elected office.

Charles I. du Pont was a member of the Delaware Senate for several terms as a Whig. After a noted military career, Republican Henry A. du Pont won two terms in the U.S. Senate. Republican T. Coleman du Pont was initially appointed to the U.S. Senate in 1921.

After losing an ensuing election for the seat. he later won a 1924 U.S. Senate race.

Pete's wife, Elise, made a run for the U.S. House of Representatives in 1984. She lost to incumbent Tom Carper.