Émile Francis du Pont (born 1898)
Emile F. du Pont a member for many years of the board of E. I. du pont de Nemours & Co. and director of its employee relations department, died yesterday in Wilmington, Del. His age was 76.
Mr. du Pont served in the personnel post for 12 years before his retirement last April. His careers spanned four decades of the company's growth and included many years in production work.
He joined du Pont, which had teen founded by his great-great‐grandfather, in 1923 as a student operator at the Arlington, N. J., plastics plant. In 1931, he was appointed chief supervisor at the Spruance Cellophane plant in Richmond.
Mr. du Pont was the first manager of the company's initial nylon plant in Seaford, Del., a post he assumed in 1938. With his cousin, the late Henry R. du Pont, he became a prime mover in making the company air‐minded.
A private pilot since 1936, he built an airstrip and a hangar adjacent to, the plant. The airstrip served as a prototype for many other du Pont plants in areas not served by commercial airlines.
Mr. du Pont was named to the board of directors in 1944, and served on the finance committee from 1944 to 1973. He was chairman of the board of benefits and pensions from 1951 until 1964. He was a member of the committee on educational aid from 1951 until his retirement.
Surviving are 3 children of his first marriage to the former Sarah Townsend, Francis Irénée, Mrs. George F. Cahill Jr., and Peter Rhett; 3 stepchildren, Jackson Marvel, Mrs. Richard F. Sanger and Mrs. Francis B. Adam Jr.; 2 brothers, 3 sisters, and 15 grandchildren.
Mr. du Pont's second wife, the former Margaret Dick Marvel, died in 1972.
ADDITIONAL REFERENCE INFO
The demands of running such a gargantuan enterprise took its toll of older Du Pont executives during the war, making room for the next generation. In 1940 Lammot handed the presidency over to 52-year-old Walter S. Carpenter, Jr., head of the finance committee, and assumed Pierre’s chairmanship. Two years later Charles Copeland and Francis B. Davis, Jr., resigned from the Du Pont board and were replaced by Charles’s son, Lammot du Pont Copeland, destined for business tragedy, and Crawford Greenewalt, Irénée’s son-in-law. In 1944, the same year Pierre left General Motors, A.Felix du Pont, Sr., was succeeded by Francis I. du Pont’s second son, Emile [Francis du Pont], whose management fortunes had risen with nylon.
Less covert was Du Pont’s support of the new oil depreciation allowance. Besides Du Pont’s own direct involvement with the oil industry through the production of synthetic rubber and its Ethyl Gasoline Corporation, the family had invested personal funds in Phillips Petroleum, Chanslor-Western Oil, Ardee Oil (in Texas and Montana),and Oil Associates (in Louisiana and Texas). By the 1960’s, Lammot du PontCopeland’s Delaware Fund would hold huge blocks of stock in Universal Oil, Standard Oil of New Jersey, Royal Dutch Petroleum, Occidental Petroleum, and Gulf Oil; E. I. duPont’s New England Fund would be a large stockholder in Mobil and Texaco; and Emile F. du Pont’s Blue Ridge Mutual Securities in Continental Oil, Atlantic Richfield, Cities Service, and Union Oil of California
But probably the greatest incentive for Du Pont’s production of the film “It Never Rains Oil” was its heavy investment in the automobile industry, particularly General Motors. Sponsored by the leading oil associations, Du Pont’s film presented the case forthe depreciation allowance, a curious logic that argues that a business should be paid bythe taxpayer for selling its product on the market. According to the minutes of the National Petroleum Council in 1953, Deputy Petroleum Administrator Joseph La Fortune, on leave as vice-chairman of Gulf’s Warren Oil Corporation, “furnished the information as to the money expended by Du Pont for having the film made in Hollywood, its fine possibility as education mediums for use in colleges, high schools,etc., availability and cost to those interested in showing the film.
With their G.M. diversification funds, many Du Ponts also invested in new firms utilizing the latest scientific technology, including computers, which worked on military contracts during the Vietnam era. William H. du Pont, the son of William du Pont, Jr., setup Sci-Tek, Inc., a computer-based operation which took in $15,000 in Navy contracts in 1971, $80,000 in 1972.79 Emile F. du Pont’s Dukane Corporation grossed $20,744 on one Navy contract in 1972 for developing a locater system in jet planes.80 Reynolds and Richard C. du Pont’s All-American Engineering raked in $1.6 million in 1972, bringing its Vietnam era (1964–1972) total to $11 million.
All told, the family’s varied corporate interests grossed over 15 billion in war contracts between 1964, the year of the first arms buildup, and 1972. Of the top ten war contractors, three (North American Rockwell, Boeing, and General Motors) represented large investments of the Du Pont family. Of the top forty Pentagon contractors, eight(North American Rockwell, Boeing, General Motors, Newport News Shipbuilding, DuPont, Hercules, and Uniroyal), or one-fifth, were Du Pont interests. Du Pont Company alone reaped over $1 billion in war contracts. One Du Pont enthusiast recently became very flustered at the suggestion of war profiteering by his favorite family. “I challenge anyone to show proof of any money made off this tragic war!
All these ventures, as well as time itself, helped breach the rifts created in the family by Alfred I. du Pont’s famous feud with Pierre S. du Pont. Edmond’s father had sided with Alfred against Pierre’s allies but soon after reached a truce and a $30 million investment by the family. Now, through Laird, Bissell, & Meeds, Edmond was rubbing shoulders with Garrett Van S. Copeland, older son of Du Pont President Lammot duPont Copeland, Henry Silliman, son-in-law of old Irénée du Pont, Edward New-bold Smith, son-in-law of Henry B. du Pont, and Alfred Bissell, who married the niece of Eugene du Pont, Jr. Through Laird Inc., Edmond was also in touch with George Weymouth, another in-law, Silliman, Smith, and Alfred du Pont Dent, grandson of Alfred I. du Pont.
Assisting along the way also was Edmond’s brother Emile [Francis du Pont], whose sharp mind had propelled him to a vice-presidency and directorship in Du Pont Company.
Emile [Francis du Pont] was brought into the family’s Blue Ridge Mutual Fund by Eleuthère du Pont, as was Edmond.There, Edmond also joined Donald F. Carpenter and James Q. du Pont in stock speculation, while Emile [Francis du Pont] in 1967 joined Eleuthère and Reynolds du Pont in another fund, Sigma Capital Shares Corporation. Eleuthère also made Edmond treasurer of his Delaware Chemical Engineering Corporation. These growing ties were also reflected in the Continental American Life Insurance Company, where Eleuthère, as treasurer, put Edmond’s knowledge of mutual funds to profitable use. Edmond even served as a director of Continental American for a period with George P. Edmonds, son-in-law of Lammot du Pont, and Francis V. du Pont, son of T. Coleman du Pont. With this economic rise came the social laurels of a directorship in old Henry F. du Pont’s Winterthur Corporation and, in 1965, trusteeship of the University of Delaware.
In 1967 F. I. du Pont & Company was generating close to $100 million in income from its own operations, and had become a major stockholder in such corporate giants as A.T. & T. Other Du Ponts, led by Lammot du Pont Copeland and Emile F. du Pont, bythen had invested heavily in F. I. du Pont & Company, and Garrett Van S. Copeland,Lammot’s son, and Peter R. du Pont, Emile’s son, had even become partners.
In Delaware the Du Ponts have also given to Delaware Technical College. Sponsored by Du Pont Company, this college trains young Delawareans for white-collar jobs in the state’s chemical industries, and also trains police for maintaining Du Pont order.Richard P. Sanger, son-in-law of Emile F. du Pont, even serves as chairman of the Advisory Committee on Police Science. In many ways, Delaware Technical is merely a training ground for Du Pont, on a lower level than the University of Delaware. As then Du Pont president Lammot du Pont Copeland once put it in a speech at the university, “I am very sure that you, as a production organization, can turn out a product more perfectly adapted to the needs of the user if you know something about that customer and his needs. I suspect that the incentive to do so will be greater if your knowledge of the customer has led you to respect him and, perhaps, even to like him.” Whereupon, Lammot supplied the information on Du Pont’s needs; Du Pont money supplied the goodwill.
This diversification of Du Pont family holdings means that majority blocks of stocks in companies are being replaced by minority blocks which are still large and important enough to exercise some measure of control over a company. Direct control is seldom needed if management is doing its job efficiently and turning out fat dividends. Rather than an Irénée du Pont exercising absolute domination, now the family fortune has been passed on to a number of heirs, even as the family’s total wealth continues to grow. This splitting up of family stock blocks does not mean that capital no longer tends to accumulate. Just the opposite. It is the very tendency of capital toward accumulation in the form of mergers that is reducing the share held by each individual Du Pont in a company. Emile F. du Pont, for example, might well have held 15 percent of Symington-Wayne when he was a director of that company. When Symington-Wayne merged with Dresser Industries, his holding in the new company may have been reduced in half, to perhaps 7.5 percent. But capital has accumulated; a bigger corporation has been born.These mergers, while reducing controlling stock blocks, actually increase, through the added assets and resource benefits of combination, the Du Pont family’s wealth. Thus Du Pont wealth, and the power of their business class as a whole, is not diminishing, but growing.
Mergers removed Du Ponts from the boards of three companies: Emile F. du Pont from Symington-Wayne (which merged with Dresser Industries), Anthony A. du Pont from Garret Corporation (merged into Signal Companies), Colgate Darden from Newport News Shipbuilding (merged into Tenneco), and A. Felix du Pont, Jr., from Piasecki Helicopter (which became Piasecki Aircraft). The Du Pont family’s investment in North American Rockwell appears intact, despite their failure so far to replace Henry B. du Pont on the board after his death in 1970.
Francis I. du Pont II. Son of Emile F. du Pont, he has joined E.I. du Pont’s Sigma Investment Fund as a director.
Peter du Pont. The son of Emile F. du Pont, he is a director of Laird, Inc
Richard P. Sanger. Sanger was the executive editor of the News-Journal and directorof Delaware Trust. Predictably, he is also married to a Du Pont, Margaret Marvel,stepdaughter of Emile F. du Pont.
The first direction was away from the company that bears their name. Symptomatic of this was the growth of the family’s mutual funds. Blue Ridge Mutual Fund, which had$52 million in assets in 1967, had its name changed to Sigma Investment Shares in 1969 by Eleuthère du Pont. Its assets in 1974 were about $72 million. The same held true for Sigma Venture Shares, which Eleuthère began in 1969. Worth $3 million in assets in1971, it had assets of $6.2 million in 1974.Involved in Eleuthère’s group were James Q. du Pont, Donald F. Carpenter, Emile F. du Pont, R.M. Layton, W.J. Kitchell, Reynolds du Pont, H.H. Sillman, and Francis I. duPont II.These were some of the common stocks owned by just one of Eleuthère’s firms,Sigma Investment Shares: