John du Pont
Photo Credit: Everett Collection

John du Pont

Foxcatcher

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About Him

Grew Up… lonely. As a kid, John only had one real friend, a son of his mother’s friend. And to make matters worse, he learned as a teenager that his mother had been paying the kid to be his friend.

Living… on Foxcatcher Farm, the du Pont family estate outside of Philadelphia. His great-great grandfather founded DuPont, a gunpowder manufacturer, which grew to become one of the biggest chemical companies in the world. Wealthy does not begin to describe John du Pont.

Profession… retired. By virtue of his family’s fortune, John has no one occupation and instead passionately pursues a variety of hobbies. He has written several books on ornithology. He styles himself as a “highly respected ornithologist, author, world explorer, philatelist [stamp enthusiast], and philanthropist.” He also has a passion for wrestling and he builds a wrestling facility at Foxcatcher Farm in hopes of attracting top American wrestlers to come and train there.

Interests… collecting guns. At one point he orders a military-grade tank equipped with a 50-caliber machine gun, presumably for the purpose of moseying around Foxcatcher Farm’s 800 acres.

Relationship Status… single/unknown.

Challenge… getting American wrestlers to train at Foxcatcher Farm. First he brings Mark Schultz, gold medalist in the ’84 Olympics, but he still wants Mark’s brother Dave, also an Olympic gold medalist. He envisions Foxcatcher as the official training center of American wrestling, with him as a “brother, father, mentor, and leader” to the wrestlers. John wants to prove himself to his mother – he was always a mama’s boy. His mother trains world-class thoroughbred horses and regards wrestling as a low sport. John wishes dearly to patronize wrestlers, to “train” them, and eventally to reap the rewards of their athletic triumphs for himself. 

Personality… erratic, irrational, and a bit of an overgrown child. John exists on a plane slightly off-kilter from that of reality. He makes odd remarks and possesses a stilted manner of speech. He occasionally refers to himself as “Eagle” (or “Golden Eagle”). Above all he is intensely patriotic, and views his efforts to make Foxcatcher into the premier American wrestling center as his chance to engender and partake in American glory, and to make his mark on history. 

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