His Own Man, 1916-1920s

Once out of the family company, Alfred pursued his own business ventures in Delaware and New York. He established an investment firm, Nemours Trading Corporation, and an import-export operation in New York. He also invested in banks, eventually acquiring a 60 percent interest in Delaware Trust Co.

Alfred also took an interest in political and social issues. Concerned about the financial hardships among the elderly, he lobbied the Delaware Legislature to enact a public pension plan. When the legislature failed to act, Alfred funded the pensions himself for several years. He helped launch the Delaware Symphony. And, as he had been doing for years, he continued to privately give money to the needy.

Alfred’s life took yet another dramatic turn in January 1920 when his wife Alicia died of a heart attack while en route to Florida. The duPont family motto, Rectitudine Sto, or “I stand upright,” always seemed a perfect description of Alfred. No matter the hardship of the situation or the consequence of his decision, he stood tall and pushed on, which is just what he did in the next phase of his life.