Russell W. Peterson

Russell_PetersonRussell Wilbur "Russ" Peterson (October 3, 1916 - ) is a chemist and former Governor of the state of Delaware.  Peterson  attended the University of Wisconsin–Madison where he received a B.S. in 1938 and a Ph.D. in Chemistry in 1942.

After graduate school Peterson was recruited by the E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Company to work as a research chemist at its Experimental Station in Wilmington. For over 26 years he held prominent jobs in research, manufacturing and sales, and finally in corporate management, becoming an executive.

Peterson was elected Governor of Delaware in 1968.  Peterson, a dedicated environmentalist, was the guiding force behind the Coastal Zone Act of 1972. This act protected Delaware's inland bays and waterways by banning heavy industry from a two-mile-wide strip of Delaware's 115 mile coastline, about 20% of the state.  After leaving office Peterson served as the President of the National Audubon Society from 1979 to 1985.