Eleuthere Irenee du Pont
The founder of one of the world's largest chemical companies, Eleuthere Irenee du Pont, was born in Wilmington, Delaware. Du Pont recognized the need to improve the quality of gunpowder available in the United States. He started a gunpowder works along the Brandywine River. By the year of his death, it had become a major American business, producing over 1 million pounds of gunpowder per year. Since du Pont's death, his company has grown from an explosives manufacturer to a major company producing science-based solutions to food, health care, electronics, apparel, and transportation.
Born in Wilmington, Delaware, Dr. Henry Heimlich, surgeon and inventor, has become a household name. In 1974, Dr. Heimlich published findings describing a technique that can save a person from choking on an object caught in the throat. Just one week after the findings were published, the first choking victim was saved by this procedure. It became known as the Heimlich Maneuver.
One of America's best-loved illustrators was Howard Pyle, a native of Wilmington, Delaware. Pyle founded the Brandywine School of Painting whose students included N.C. Wyeth and Maxfield Parrish. Pyle was also a writer who authored as well as illustrated many books including The Story of King Arthur and His Knights, Men of Iron, and The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood.
Caesar Rodney was one of Delaware's earliest heroes. Rodney, a strong supporter of the American Revolution, was a delegate in the First and Second Continental Congresses. He is remembered for his dramatic ride to Philadelphia on July 2, 1776, which enabled the Delaware delegation to vote two-to-one in favor of the Declaration of Independence. Rodney became Delaware's first President in 1778 and he was instrumental in guiding his state through ratification of the Articles of Confederation in 1779.