Eugene du Pont

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Eugène du Pont
Eugene du Pont.jpg
Born(1840-11-16)November 16, 1840
DiedJanuary 28, 1902(1902-01-28) (aged 61)
Resting placeDu Pont de Nemours Cemetery
Alma materUniversity of Pennsylvania (B.A. 1861)
Board member ofE.I. du Pont de Nemours & Co.
Spouse(s)Amélia Elizabeth du Pont
  • Anne Ridgely
  • Alexis Irénée III
  • Mary Van Dyke
  • Eugene Jr.
  • Amy Elizabeth
  • Julia Sophia

Eugène du Pont (November 16, 1840 – January 28, 1902) was an American businessman who served as the first head of the modern-day DuPont corporation.[1][2]

Life and education[edit]

Du Pont was born on November 16, 1840 at Hagley House in New Castle County, Delaware, the son of Alexis Irénée du Pont and grandson of DuPont founder, Éleuthère Irénée du Pont (1771–1834). Eugène was the first head of the modern DuPont corporation, seeing the corporation into the 20th century.[3]

Eugène graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 1861 with a bachelor of arts degree.[4]


After he graduated from Penn in 1861, he became an assistant to his older cousin, Lammot du Pont (1831–1884), at the Brandywine Mills laboratory and by 1886, filed two patent applications for a gunpowder press and new variety of powder, brown prismatic. He became junior partner in 1864. He succeeded his uncle, Henry du Pont (1812–1889), as senior partner in 1889.[1]

As senior partner, du Pont saw the completion of a new office in Wilmington and the new invention called the telephone. He also saw the rise of the dynamite industry and helped form the Eastern Dynamite Company in 1895. 1912, the Eastern Dynamite Company formally merged with DuPont.[1]

After du Pont's death, the company was brought under control by three of his nephews, Alfred I. du Pont, T. Coleman du Pont and Pierre S. du Pont.[1]

Personal life[edit]

Eugène married Amélia Elizabeth du Pont, who was also born a du Pont as the granddaughter of Charles I. du Pont (1797–1869), nephew of Éleuthère Irénée. Together they had had:[2]

  • Anne Ridgely du Pont (1867-1944)
  • Alexis Irénée du Pont III (1869-1921)
  • Mary Van Dyke du Pont (1871-1871)
  • Eugene Irenee du Pont Jr. (1873-1956)
  • Amy Elizabeth du Pont (1875–1962), who did not marry.[5]
  • Julia Sophia du Pont

Eugène du Pont died at his home in Christiana Hundred near Wilmington, Delaware on January 28, 1902.[2]


His daughter Amy Elizabeth du Pont was a prominent benefactor of the University of Delaware. The painter George Alexis Weymouth (1936–2016) was his great-grandnephew by his nephew, Eugene Eleuthere du Pont (1882-1954),[6] as was his granddaughter, Ethel du Pont (1916–1965), the first wife of Franklin D. Roosevelt Jr. (1914-1988).[7]


  1. ^ a b c d " Eugene du Pont". DuPont. Retrieved January 21, 2015.
  2. ^ a b c "Eugene du Pont Dead" (PDF). The New York Times. January 29, 1902. Retrieved January 22, 2015.
  3. ^ "Heritage: Eugene du Pont". DuPont. Retrieved January 21, 2015.
  4. ^ "1861 Commencement Program" (PDF). University of Pennsylvania. Retrieved January 22, 2015.
  5. ^ Associated Press (February 17, 1962). "Miss Amy Du Pont Dies". The New York Times. Retrieved 2012-11-27. Miss E. du Pont, great-granddaughter of the founder of the E.I. du Pont de Nemours business enterprises, centered in Wilmington, Del., died today in ...
  6. ^ Grimes, William (April 29, 2016). "George Weymouth, Conservationist, Horse Enthusiast and Bon Vivant, Dies at 79". The New York Times. Retrieved May 2, 2016.
  7. ^ Jones, David R. (May 26, 1965). "Ethel du Pont Dead In Apparent Suicide Ethel du Pont, Heiress, Is Apparent Suicide at Suburban Detroit Home". The New York Times. Retrieved 13 August 2016.