President of the Republic from 1995 to 2007, Jacques Chirac marked half a century of French political life. After major studies in Paris, he became Prime Minister of Valéry Giscard d'Estaing in 1974 but resigned in 1976 due to political disagreements. Founder of the “Rassemblement pour la République” (RPR) party, which would become the UMP in 2002, he was elected mayor of Paris and stood in the presidential election against the socialist François Mitterrand against whom he lost twice in a row. In 1986 and 1993, the President was however forced to appoint him Prime Minister again, although he was on the opposite political side:this is the phenomenon of cohabitation. His first presidential term was marked by the recognition of the responsibility of the French State in the Jewish genocide during the Second World War. Re-elected in 2002 against Jean-Marie Le Pen, in 2003 he affirmed his opposition to the invasion of Iraq despite British and American hostility.
1932 - 2019
President of the Republic