François Hollande (born 1954)
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Born in Rouen, François Hollande, the son of a social worker and a doctor, took up the cause of the Left while at secondary school. Having obtained a Law Degree, he joined the Institut d'Etudes Politiques and the Ecole de Hautes Etudes Commerciales (HEC), where he was Chairman of the support committee for the socialist candidate François Mitterrand in 1974. He then switched to the Ecole Nationale d'Administration (ENA), which trains high-level French civil servants. It was here that he met Ségolène Royal, who was to be the mother of their four children.
He joined the Socialist Party in 1979. He was spotted by Jacques Attali, the advisor to François Mitterrand, going on to write economic notes for him. Having left the ENA at number seven in the rankings in 1980, he was made Chargé de Mission at the Élysée following the victory of François Mitterrand in 1981, but was beaten by Jacques Chirac in the legislative elections in the constituency of Ussel, Corrèze. In 1983, he was promoted to the role of Director of the Government Spokesperson's Office.
Following the re-election of François Mitterrand in 1988, he was finally elected as the Member of Parliament for Tulle, Corrèze, but was not re-elected in in 1993. Having become National Secretary for Economic Affairs for the Socialist Party when the Left returned to power in 1997, he was re-elected as a Member of Parliament, going on to succeed Prime Minister Lionel Jospin as leader of the Socialist Party. He was elected Mayor of Tulle in 2001 and, in spite of the defeat of the Left in the Presidential Election in 2002, was re-elected as a Member of Parliament.
Following the defeat of Ségolène Royal in the Presidential Election in 2007, François Hollande, still a Member of Parliament, was elected President of the Corrèze General Council (20 March 2008) and gave up his role as leader of the Socialist Party. On 22 October 2011, he was appointed as the candidate for the Socialist Party and radicals of the Left for the 2012 Presidential Election.
On 6 May 2012, François Hollande was elected as seventh President of the Fifth Republic, replacing outgoing President Nicolas Sarkozy. He is the second socialist President of the Fifth Republic after François Mitterrand (1981 – 1995).