François Mitterrand served as President of France for two terms from 1981 to 1995. He studied law and politics at the University of Paris and was first elected to the National Assembly of France in 1946. He was appointed to a number of Government ministries during his career. He was the recipient of several awards including the Légion d’honneur (Legion of Honour).
François Mitterrand was born François Maurice Adrien Marie Mitterrand in Jarnac in southwestern France in 1916. He served in the French Army during World War II. He was wounded and captured by the Germans in 1940. He escaped from a prisoner of war camp and made his way back to France where he worked for the Vichy government.
In 1965 and again in 1974 Mitterrand ran for election to the presidency of France. Having failed on both occasions he was finally elected as the socialist candidate in 1981. During his time as president he introduced several reforms and helped to advance greater European integration. In 1991 he became the first President of France to appoint a female Prime Minister, Edith Cresson.
François Mitterrand, who served as President of France for two terms from 1981 to 1995, was born in the year 1916 On This Day.
Médiathèque François Mitterrand