Facts about Francois Hollande
Francois Hollande Biography
Francois Hollande is the longtime Socialist party leader who was elected President of France in 2012. He succeeded Nicolas Sarkozy and served a 5-year term through 2017.
Francois Hollande joined the Socialist Party in 1979 and remained active in French politics for the next four decades. He graduated from the elite Ecole Nationale d’Administration (1980) and also attended the Paris Institute of Political Studies (commonly known as Sciences Po).
Hollande became a member of parliament in the French national assembly in 1988, representing the Correze region of southern France. In 1997 he succeeded Lionel Jospin in the party’s First Secretary. At the time, many saw Hollande as a bland functionary and compromiser; indeed, his own nickname for himself was “Mr. Normal.” He ran for the Socialist party nomination for president in 2007, but in an odd twist lost to Segolene Royal, his longtime companion and mother to his four children. She lost the general election to Sarkozy; shortly after that, Hollande’s affair with Paris Match writer Valerie Trierweiler became public, and he split with Royal. Hollande stepped down as the Socialist party’s executive secretary in 2008, and his career seemed on the wane.
However, the 2011 New York hotel scandal of Socialist leader Dominique Strauss-Kahn turned the slightly duller Hollande into a more attractive presidential candidate. He ran on a platform of increased taxes on the rich (with a top rate of 75% on earnings over one million euros) and a promise to add thousands of new teachers. When he beat Sarkozy in the final presidential elections on 6 May 2012, the CBC called him “the amiable political tortoise who overtook the hyperactive hare.”
Early in 2014, Hollande’s administration was shaken when the French magazine Closer claimed that he was having an affair with actress Julie Gayet. Hollande deplored the invasion of his privacy but did not deny the report. Trierweiler was hospitalized briefly after the report broke, and a week later Hollande told the French news agency AFP that he and Trierweiler had split up. He will remain in office until May 14, 2017, when he will be succeeded by new president Emmanuel Macron.
In addition to his other roles, Francois Hollande was mayor of the city of Tulle from 2001-08… He represented Correze from 1988-93, and again from 1997 until his election in 2012… Francois Hollande has four children with Segolene Royal: Thomas (born 1984), Clémence (b. 1985), Julien (b. 1987) and Flora (b. 1992).
3 Good Links
- Big archive of articles from The Guardian
- Big election section from the BBC, with a profile of Hollande and much more
- Nifty little personality profile from The NY Times