Facts about Marine Le Pen

Marine Le Pen is 50 years old
Born: August 5, 1968
Best known as: French political leader of the National Front party, 2011-17

     
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Marine Le Pen Biography

Marine Le Pen is the former president of the National Front (FN) party of France, and the youngest daughter of that party’s founder, Jean-Marie Le Pen.

She grew up in her father’s political world, and joined the FN party in 1986. After earning law degrees in the early 1990s, she worked as a lawyer for a few years, but most of Le Pen’s career has been as an executive for the party. She was also a member of the European Parliament from 2004 until 2014.

Marine Le Pen moved up the party ranks until becoming president of the National Front in 2011, succeeding her father.

Le Pen’s efforts to “de-demonize” the party, whose right-wing politics had led to the FN as being known as racist, homophobic and xenophobic — resulted in the FN going from the fringe to the mainstream.

Her media-friendly persona and political skills brought the FN to the point of national prominence and Marine Le Pen earned the third highest number of votes in France’s 2012 presidential election.

In the first round of 2017’s presidential election, Le Pen was second to Emmanuel Macron, leading to a runoff race. Before the runoff election, Le Pen announced her resignation as president of the National Front party. On May 7, 2017 Marine Le Pen admitted to defeat in the election and Emmanuel Macron became France’s new president.

Extra credit

Marine Le Pen expelled her father from the party in 2015, after controverial comments he had made dismissing Nazi gas chambers as a “detail of history.” Jean-Marie Le Pen retaliated by saying his daughter lacked the “moral principles” to run France… Marine Le Pen has been compared to President Donald Trump of the United States, in part because of her populist, nationalist supporters, and in part because of her love/hate relationship with the media.


     

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