Former Delaware Congressman and Governor Pierre S. "Pete" DuPont IV

(Photo courtesy Wikipedia)

Former Congressman and Delaware Governor Pete du Pont has passed away at age 86.

DuPont died Saturday at his Wilmington home after a long illness.

He served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1971 to 1977 as a member of the Foreign Affairs and Merchant Marine and Fisheries Committees, and was co-author and sponsor of the War Powers Act of 1973, which limits the authority of the President to deploy the armed forces abroad without Congress' consent.

Following his time in the House, du Pont, a Republican, was governor of Delaware from 1977 to 1985, and highlights of his time in Dover include 8 consecutive balanced budgets, two income tax reductions and a Constitutional amendment limiting spending and tax increases.

He ran for president in 1988 but bowed out of the race after a modest showing in the New Hampshire primary and threw his support behind George H.W. Bush, who became the nation's 41st President.

Du Pont then joined Wilmington law firm Richards, Layton and Finger.

He was a direct descendant of DuPont Company founder E.I. DuPont de Nemours, and is survived by his widow Elise, their four children and ten grandchildren, and his sister.

Due to COVID-19 concerns, a memorial service will be held at a later date.

U.S. Senator Tom Carper called du Pont a mentor and friend, and "a very decent, kind human being," adding that Delaware is a better place today because of him.

In a statement, U.S. Senator Chris Coons said Pete du Pont cared deeply for Delaware and this country.

"His sense of duty and level of dedication were self-evident during a long career in public service, whether he was serving as a naval officer, congressman, or governor. Pete labored tirelessly to strengthen our state finances, and he knew the importance of bringing businesses to Delaware. He will be missed by many and remembered for his kind, authentic, and good-humored nature."