François Mitterrand

François Mitterrand
Mitterrand (arms folded).jpg
Mitterrand in 1981
President of the French Republic
In office
21 May 1981 – 17 May 1995
Prime MinisterPierre Mauroy
Laurent Fabius
Jacques Chirac
Michel Rocard
Édith Cresson
Pierre Bérégovoy
Édouard Balladur
Preceded byValéry Giscard d'Estaing
Succeeded byJacques Chirac
Co-Prince of Andorra
In office
21 May 1981 – 17 May 1995
Serving with Joan Martí Alanis
Prime MinisterJosep Pintat-Solans
Òscar Ribas Reig
Marc Forné Molné
RepresentativeJean-Yves Caullet
Preceded byValéry Giscard d'Estaing
Succeeded byJacques Chirac
First Secretary of the Socialist Party
In office
16 June 1971 – 24 January 1981
Preceded byAlain Savary
Succeeded byLionel Jospin
President of the General Council of Nièvre
In office
20 March 1964 – 15 May 1981
Preceded byArsène Célestin-Fié
Succeeded byNoël Berrier
Mayor of Château-Chinon
In office
20 March 1959 – 15 May 1985
Preceded byRobert Mantin
Succeeded byRené-Pierre Signé
Minister of Justice
In office
31 January 1956 – 12 June 1957
Prime MinisterGuy Mollet
Preceded byRobert Schuman
Succeeded byEdouard Corniglion-Molinier
Minister of the Interior
In office
19 June 1954 – 23 February 1955
Prime MinisterPierre Mendès-France
Preceded byLéon Martinaud-Deplat
Succeeded byMaurice Bourgès-Maunoury
Minister delegate to the Council of Europe
In office
28 June 1953 – 4 September 1953
Prime MinisterJoseph Laniel
Preceded byPierre Pflimlin
Succeeded byEdgar Faure
Minister of Overseas France
In office
12 July 1950 – 15 August 1951
Prime MinisterRené Pleven
Henri Queuille
Preceded byPaul Coste-Floret
Succeeded byLouis Jacquinot
Minister of Veterans and War Victims
In office
24 November 1947 – 19 July 1948
Prime MinisterRobert Schuman
Preceded byDaniel Mayer
Succeeded byAndré Maroselli
In office
22 January 1947 – 21 October 1947
Prime MinisterRobert Schuman
Preceded byMax Lejeune
Succeeded byDaniel Mayer
Personal details
François Maurice Adrien Marie Mitterrand

(1916-10-26)26 October 1916
Jarnac, France
Died8 January 1996(1996-01-08) (aged 79)
Paris, France
Resting placeCimetiere des Grands-Maisons
Jarnac, France
Political partyCross of Fire (Before 1936)
Democratic and Socialist Union of the Resistance (1945–1964)
Convention of Republican Institutions (1964–1971)
Socialist Party (1971–1996)
Danielle Gouze (m. 1944)
Children4, including Jean-Christophe and Mazarine Pingeot Mitterrand
RelativesFrédéric Mitterrand (nephew)
Alma materUniversity of Paris
Sciences Po
SignatureMitterrand Institute
Military service
Allegiance France
Branch/serviceFrench Army
Years of service1939–1941

François Maurice Adrien Marie Mitterrand[a] (26 October 1916 – 8 January 1996) was a French statesman who served as President of France from 1981 to 1995, the longest time in office in French history. As First Secretary of the Socialist Party, he was the first left-wing politician to be elected President of France under the Fifth Republic.

Reflecting family influences, Mitterrand started political life on the Catholic nationalist right. He served under the Vichy Regime during its earlier years. Subsequently he joined the Resistance, moved to the left, and held ministerial office several times under the Fourth Republic. He opposed de Gaulle's establishment of the Fifth Republic. Although at times a politically isolated figure, Mitterrand outmanoeuvered rivals to become the left's standard bearer at every presidential election from 1965–88; with the exception of 1969. Mitterrand was elected President at the 1981 presidential election. He was re-elected in 1988 and remained in office until 1995.

Mitterrand invited the Communist Party into his first government, which was a controversial decision at the time. In the event, the Communists were boxed in as junior partners and, rather than taking advantage, saw their support erode. They left the cabinet in 1984. Early in his first term, Mitterrand followed a radical left-wing economic agenda, including nationalisation of key firms, but after two years, with the economy in crisis, he reversed course. He pushed a socially liberal agenda with reforms such as the abolition of the death penalty, the 39-hour work week, and the end of a government monopoly in radio and television broadcasting. His foreign and defense policies built on those of his Gaullist predecessors. His partnership with German Chancellor Helmut Kohl advanced European integration via the Maastricht Treaty, but he reluctantly accepted German reunification. During his time in office, he was a strong promoter of culture and implemented a range of costly "Grands Projets". He is the only French President to ever have named a female Prime Minister, Édith Cresson, in 1991. He was twice forced by the loss of a parliamentary majority into "cohabitation governments" with conservative cabinets led, respectively, by Jacques Chirac (1986–1988), and Édouard Balladur (1993–1995). Less than eight months after leaving office, Mitterrand died from the prostate cancer he had successfully concealed for most of his presidency.

Beyond making the French left electable, Mitterrand presided over the rise of the Socialist Party to dominance of the left, and the decline of the once-mighty Communist Party (as a share of the popular vote in the first presidential round, the Communists shrank from a peak of 21.27% in 1969 to 8.66% in 1995, at the end of Mitterrand's second term).

He is known for his Mitterrand doctrine, a policy of not extraditing convicted far-left terrorists of the years of lead such as Cesare Battisti to Italy due to the alleged non-conformity of Italian legislation to European standards of rule of law, in particular the anti-terrorism laws passed by Italy in the 1970s and 1980s. This policy eventually led to most of the accused never being punished for their crimes.


Mitterrand was born in Jarnac, Charente, and baptized François Maurice Adrien Marie Mitterrand, the son of Joseph Mitterrand and Yvonne Lorrain. His family was devoutly Roman Catholic[1] and conservative. His father worked as an engineer for the Compagnie Paris Orléans railway. He had three brothers, Robert, Jacques, and Philippe, and four sisters, Antoinette, Marie-Josèphe, Colette, and Geneviève.

Mitterrand's wife, Danielle Mitterrand (née Gouze, 1924–2011), came from a socialist background and worked for various left-wing causes. They married on 24 October 1944 and had three sons: Pascal (10 June 1945 – 17 September 1945), Jean-Christophe, born in 1946, and Gilbert, born on 4 February 1949. He also had two children as results of extra-marital affairs: an acknowledged daughter, Mazarine (born 1974), with his mistress Anne Pingeot,[2] and an unacknowledged son, Hravn Forsne (born 1988), with Swedish journalist Christina Forsne.[3]

Mitterrand's nephew Frédéric Mitterrand is a journalist, Minister of Culture and Communications under Nicolas Sarkozy (and a supporter of Jacques Chirac, former French President), and his wife's brother-in-law Roger Hanin was a well-known French actor.

Other Languages
azərbaycanca: Fransua Mitteran
Bân-lâm-gú: François Mitterrand
беларуская: Франсуа Мітэран
български: Франсоа Митеран
hornjoserbsce: François Mitterrand
interlingua: François Mitterand
Lëtzebuergesch: François Mitterrand
македонски: Франсоа Митеран
مازِرونی: فرانسوا میتران
Bahasa Melayu: François Mitterrand
norsk nynorsk: François Mitterrand
Simple English: François Mitterrand
slovenščina: François Mitterrand
српски / srpski: Франсоа Митеран
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: François Mitterrand
українська: Франсуа Міттеран
Tiếng Việt: François Mitterrand
粵語: 密特朗
žemaitėška: François Mitterrand