- NAME: Georges Pompidou
- OCCUPATION: Civil Servant, World Leader, Prime Minister
- BIRTH DATE: July 05, 1911
- DEATH DATE: April 02, 1974
- EDUCATION: École Normale Supérieure, École Libre des Sciences Politiques (Sciences Po)
- PLACE OF BIRTH: Monboudif, Cantal, France
- PLACE OF DEATH: Paris, France
- Full Name: Georges Jean Raymond Pompidou
- AKA: Georges Pompidou
- Nickname: "Pompom"
Best Known For
After working as a teacher and a banker, Georges Pompidou served as Charles de Gaulle's prime minister for six years before he was elected president of France.
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Born on July 5, 1911, in Monboudif, Cantal, France, Georges Pompidou worked as a teacher before and during World War II. After the war, he became a trusted adviser for General Charles de Gaulle, serving as his prime minister from 1962 to 1968. Pompidou was elected president of France in 1969. He was still in office when he died on April 2, 1974, in Paris, at age 62.
"There are three ways to ruin and they are women, gambling and being a technician. Women are agreeable and gambling is quick. But being a technician is surest."
"To each his troubles. Nixon has Watergate, and as for me, I am going to die."
"I am for what de Gaulle is for."
"All the good things in my life happened to me by accident."
"There are three roads to ruin; women, gambling and technicians. The most pleasant is with women, the quickest is with gambling, but the surest is with technicians."
"The most dangerous thing about student riots is that adults take them seriously."
Georges Jean Raymond Pompidou was born in Monboudif, Cantal, France, on July 5, 1911. He followed the same career path as his parents and became a teacher. In 1939, he was called to fight in World War II, serving in a regiment that won the Croix de Guerre. After France's surrender and occupation, Pompidou returned to teaching.
After France's liberation, Pompidou met General Charles de Gaulle in 1944, and was selected to be his adviser on economics and education. Though he had not actively participated in the French resistance during the war, Pompidou became a trusted adviser for de Gaulle.
After de Gaulle resigned as head of France's provisional government in 1946, Pompidou continued working in de Gaulle's shadow cabinet. Pompidou also took a post with the commissioner for tourism and then at the Conseil d'Etat. In 1955, he left de Gaulle and public service to join the Rothschild bank.
When Charles de Gaulle returned to power in 1958, Pompidou took a six-month leave of absence from his bank to become de Gaulle's chief personal assistant. Pompidou also worked on the constitution for France's new Fifth Republic. After resuming his work at the Rothschild bank—he became the institution's general director in 1959—Pompidou once again stepped away from finance to help negotiate an end to the Algerian War of Independence. He then agreed to serve as de Gaulle's prime minister in 1962.
Although not used to being in the public eye, Pompidou was an adept prime minister, handling administrative tasks with ease. His reputation reached its height when he was instrumental in resolving the worker and student uprisings that took place throughout France in May 1968. Pompidou oversaw negotiations between workers and employers, which led to the Grenelle agreements that ended the strikes. In spite of this accomplishment, or perhaps because de Gaulle was wary of having a successful figure close at hand, Pompidou was replaced as prime minister in July 1968.
Pompidou did not give up on politics after his departure from de Gaulle's government. When de Gaulle resigned from the presidency in 1969, Pompidou announced his own candidacy. De Gaulle had been a strong leader in France since World War II, and had been the driving force behind the creation of the Fifth Republic. Pompidou's clear victory in the presidential elections, with 58% of the vote in the second round, demonstrated that the Fifth Republic could continue without de Gaulle.
During his presidency, Pompidou hewed to the Gaullist principle of France maintaining its presence on the world stage, though he did not blindly follow de Gaulle's every move.
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