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The Strange, Sad Tale of John E. DuPont

This is a rather macabre bit of memorabilia – a piece profiling John. E. duPont from the official program for the 1982 Ft. Lauderdale Bud Light USTS. The race that year was hosted by the International Swimming Hall of Fame, an organization with a close association with duPont back in those days. duPont was the real thing in terms of being an actual (and quite wealthy) duPont, but he was a strange man and a lifelong wanna-be athlete who took a number of sports under his financial wing, including triathlon, pentathlon and amateur wrestling. He spent not a small amount of time promoting himself as “The Father of Triathlon,” a claim dismissed as ludicrous within the triathlon community. Tragically, in 1996 duPont shot and killed his friend and Olympic wrestler Dave Schultz, who had been living and training at duPont’s Foxcatcher Farms estate in Pennsylvania. duPont was ruled at trial to be mentally ill but not insane.  He was sentenced to prison and died while incarcerated in 2010. duPont’s story is profiled in the movie “Foxcatcher”, directed by Bennett Miller (Capote, Moneyball) and starring Steve Carell (duPont), Channing Tatum, Mark Ruffalo and Sienna Miller, scheduled for release in 2014.