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 / Updated  / Source: Associated Press

Thousands of police officers and soldiers shot in the line of duty owe their lives to a Delaware woman named Stephanie Kwolek. Kwolek, who died Wednesday at 90, was a DuPont Co. chemist who in 1965 invented Kevlar, the lightweight, stronger-than-steel fiber used in bulletproof vests and other body armor around the world. A pioneer as a woman in a heavily male field, Kwolek made the breakthrough while working on specialty fibers at a DuPont laboratory in Wilmington. She developed a liquid crystalline solution that could be spun into exceptionally tough fibers, several times stronger by weight than steel. DuPont CEO and Chairwoman Ellen Kullman said Kwolek, who retired in 1986, "leaves a wonderful legacy of thousands of lives saved and countless injuries prevented by products made possible by her discovery.”

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-The Associated Press