The class lost an esteemed and popular member when Pete died May 8, 2021.

Pete came to Princeton from Exeter, majored in mechanical engineering, and joined Colonial Club. He then was a naval lieutenant, graduated from Harvard Law School in 1963, and worked as an engineer for the DuPont Co.

 He moved into politics in 1969 with election to the Delaware House of Representatives, followed by six years as Delaware’s congressman in Washington. He was co-author of the War Powers Act and served on the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

Pete served eight years as governor of Delaware, turning around a state deeply in debt to one with a buoyant economy. Classmate Larry Leighton recounts being with Pete as he took many calls from Delawareans, clearly a reason for his unique 90 percent popularity. He ran for but did not win the 1988 Republican presidential primary race.

Pete was also an accomplished sailor throughout his life, competing in Olympic trials and America’s Cup challenges, and spending many summer days on the water with kids and grandkids. 

Pete is survived by his wife of 63 years, Elise (they were introduced by classmate Alex Uhle); four children including Elise ’80 and Pierre ’82 and his wife, Jenny ’82; and 10 grandchildren including Grace ’12 and her husband, Conor ’10. The Class of 1956 sends our heartfelt condolences. We have all lost an accomplished and great soul.

Undergraduate Class of 1956