Francois Mitterrand

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François Mitterrand

Mitterrand in 1984

In office
21 May 1981 – 17 May 1995
Prime Minister Pierre Mauroy
Laurent Fabius
Jacques Chirac
Michel Rocard
Édith Cresson
Pierre Bérégovoy
Édouard Balladur
Preceded by Valéry Giscard d'Estaing
Succeeded by Jacques Chirac

In office
31 January 1956 – 12 June 1957
President René Coty
Prime Minister Guy Mollet
Preceded by Robert Schuman
Succeeded by Edouard Corniglion-Molinier

In office
19 June 1954 – 23 February 1955
President René Coty
Prime Minister Pierre Mendès-France
Preceded by Léon Martinaud-Deplat
Succeeded by Maurice Bourgès-Maunoury

In office
12 July 1950 – 11 August 1951
President Vincent Auriol
Prime Minister René Pleven and Henri Queuille
Preceded by Paul Coste-Floret
Succeeded by Louis Jacquinot

In office
21 May 1981 – 17 May 1995
Along with Joan Martí Alanis
Prime Minister Òscar Ribas Reig
Josep Pintat-Solans
Òscar Ribas Reig
Marc Forné Molné
Preceded by Valéry Giscard d'Estaing
Succeeded by Jacques Chirac

Born 26 October 1916(1916-10-26)
Jarnac, France
Died 8 January 1996 (aged 79)
Paris, France
Political party Socialist Party
Spouse(s) Danielle Gouze (m. 1944-1996, his death)
Children Pascal Mitterrand
Jean-Christophe Mitterrand
Gilbert Mitterrand
Mazarine Pingeot
Alma mater Collège Saint-Paul,
École Libre des Sciences Politiques
Occupation Lawyer, politician
Religion Agnostic – Roman Catholicism
Signature

François Maurice Adrien Marie Mitterrand (October 26, 1916 - January 8, 1996) served as the President of France from 1981 to 1995, elected as representative of the Socialist Party (PS).

First elected during the May 1981 presidential election, he became the first socialist President of the Fifth Republic and the first left-wing head of state since 1957. He was the only member of the Socialist Party to be elected as the President of France until François Hollande in 2012.

He was re-elected in 1988 and held office until 1995, before his death from prostate cancer the following year. At the beginning of each of his two terms, he dissolved the Parliament and held a fresh legislative election in the hope that the Socialist Party would win and he would have a parliamentary majority. This did indeed happen as he hoped; however, both times, his party lost the next legislative elections. He was consequently forced into "cohabitation governments" during the two last years of each of his terms with conservative cabinets. They were led by Jacques Chirac from 1986 until 1988, and by Édouard Balladur from 1993 to 1995.

As of 2010 Mitterrand holds the record of the longest-serving (almost 14 years) President of France. He was also the oldest President of the Fifth Republic, leaving office aged 78 years and seven months. He died on January 8, 1996 after returning from a Christmas holiday in Egypt.