John Eleuthère du Pont

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John Eleuthère du Pont
John du Pont at the University of Pennsylvania
Born(1938-11-22)November 22, 1938
DiedDecember 9, 2010(2010-12-09) (aged 72)
EducationHaverford School (1957)
B.S., University of Miami (1965)
Ph.D., Villanova University (1973)
Gale Wenk (m. 1983–1983)
annulled after 90 days
Parent(s)William du Pont, Jr.,
Jean Liseter Austin
John du Pont (front left) during his time at the University of Pennsylvania

John Eleuthère du Pont (22 November 1938 – 9 December 2010) was an American convicted murderer. He was a multimillionaire and member of the prominent du Pont family.[1][2]

Early life[change | change source]

John E. du Pont was born on 22 November 1938 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. His parents were businessman William du Pont, Jr. and to Jean Liseter Autin. He studied at Haverford School, at the University of Miami, and at Villanova University.

Early career[change | change source]

He was an ornithologist and conchologist, publishing several books on birds; a philatelist, coach, and sports enthusiast. As a philanthropist, he founded and directed the Delaware Museum of Natural History, which opened in 1972. He also contributed to Villanova University and other institutions.

Dave Schultz's murder[change | change source]

On 26 January 1996, du Pont was seen shooting Dave Schultz dead in the driveway of Schultz's home on du Pont's 800-acre (3.2 km2) estate. Schultz's wife Nancy and du Pont's head of security were present and witnessed the crime. The security chief was sitting in the passenger seat of du Pont's car when du Pont fired three bullets into Schultz. Police did not establish a motive. Schultz was a longtime friend of du Pont who had repeatedly tried to help him, but shot him after he reportedly said Schultz did not like du Pont.[3]

Personal life[change | change source]

John E. du Pont married Gale Wenk in 1983. They annulled their marriage ninety days later.

Death[change | change source]

John E. du Pont died on 9 December 2010 in Somerset, Pennsylvania from COPD, aged 72.[1][2] Du Pont was buried in his red Foxcatcher wrestling singlet, in accordance with his will.[4]

Pop culture[change | change source]

J. E. du Pont is portrayed by Steve Carell in the 2014 movie Foxcatcher.[5]

References[change | change source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 Jeré Longman (December 9, 2010). "John E. du Pont, Heir Who Killed an Olympian, Dies at 72". New York Times. Retrieved November 28, 2012. John E. du Pont, an heir to the du Pont chemical fortune whose benevolent support of Olympic athletes deteriorated into delusion and ended in the shooting death of a champion wrestler, died Thursday in a western Pennsylvania prison. He was 72. Mr. du Pont was found unresponsive in his cell at Laurel Highlands State Prison near Somerset, Pa., a prison spokeswoman told The Associated Press. ...
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Du Pont heir dies in prison". United Press International. December 9, 2010. Retrieved December 9, 2010. Du Pont fortune heir John E. du Pont, convicted of the 1996 murder of Olympic wrestler David Schulz, died of natural causes, Pennsylvania prison officials said. He was 72. Corrections spokeswoman Sue Bensinger said du Pont was found unresponsive in his Laurel Highland State Correctional Facility cell in Somerset County Thursday, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported. Bensinger said he had been ill for some time.
  3. Jere Longman, Pam Belluck and Jon Nordheimer, "For du Pont Heir, Question Was Control", The New York Times, February 4, 1996.
  4. Mari A. Schaefer (February 16, 2011). "John du Pont was buried in his wrestling singlet". Retrieved 2015-01-21.
  5. Sneider, Jeff (October 10, 2012). "Hall joins Carell in 'Foxcatcher'". Variety. Retrieved October 18, 2012.

Other websites[change | change source]