Georges Jean Raymond Pompidou was France’s second longest serving Prime Minister after Michel Debre. He was Prime Minister from 1962 to 1968, the longest tenure in the country’s history. When Charles de Gaulle resigned in 1969 after losing the constitutional referendum, he became President. He gave France a stable administration and boosted the economy. He enhanced relations with Arab states and Western countries, except West Germany. He strengthened his ‘Union of Democrats for the Republic’. Despite his lack of professional banking knowledge, he was able to lead the Rothschild bank to tremendous success. Negotiating with the parties helped him end a miner’s strike and a student rebellion amicably. As President of France, he aided the UK’s entry into the European Community, advanced the French civilian nuclear program, and maintained excellent relations with all former French colonies.
Early Childhood of Georges Pompidou
Georges Pompidou was born in Monboudif, Cantal, France on July 5, 1911. Pompidou, like his parents, was a rural teacher.
As a high school graduate, he did a ‘khagne’ to prepare for competitive tests for the three ‘Ecoles normales supérieures’ and the ‘Ecole nationale des chartes’.
In 1931, he entered Paris’ prestigious ENS. He passed the ‘aggregation’ exam in 1934 and became a teacher.
He studied literature at the ‘Ecole libre des sciences politiques’.
After graduating from the ‘Lycee Henri IV’ in Paris, Georges Pompidou began teaching literature in Marsellies.
He joined the French Army regiment in 1939 and left in 1940.
He returned to teaching and began working covertly for the resistance.
He met President de Gaulle of the interim government in late 1944.
He was a member of de Gaulle’s ‘shadow government’ from 1944 until de Gaulle abruptly resigned in 1946.
Pompidou became the ‘General Commissioner for Tourism’ after de Gaulle resigned in 1946.
From 1946 to 1957, he was maître des requetes at France’s highest administrative court, the Conseil d’Etat.
In 1955, he left the government to work for Guy de Rothschild at the Rothschild bank.
He became the bank’s general manager in 1959 despite having no professional banking training.
Pompidou became de Gaulle’s chief personal assistant in June 1958. He held this position until January 1959 and helped develop the Fifth Republic’s constitution.
He took a six-month leave of absence from the bank to assist de Gaulle and returned in January 1959.
In 1961, he was ordered by de Gaulle to mediate a truce between Algerian guerillas and French troops in Algeria.
In April 1962, Charles de Gaulle replaced Michel Debre with Pompidou, an obscure politician. He was PM from April 16, 1962 to July 21, 1968.
Pompidou lost a no-confidence vote in the National Assembly in October 1962, but de Gaulle dissolved it.
When the Gaullists won the 1964 legislative election, he was re-elected as PM. During this period, he resolved a miner’s strike amicably.
In 1967, he narrowly led the ‘Union of Democrats for the Fifth Republic’ to parliamentary victory.
In May 1968, he negotiated with striking students and workers.
During this time, de Gaulle and Pompidou’s relationship weakened due to their differing viewpoints.
In 1968, he won another legislative election, a significant triumph for the Gaullist party. After the win, he left the celebration.
He declared his presidential candidacy in January 1969.
When de Gaulle resigned after losing the constitutional vote, he was elected President. Pompidou was elected President on June 15, 1969.
On January 1, 1973, he aided the UK’s entry into the EU.
He helped France’s relations with the US and the NATO.
From 1960 to 1970, the French economy outperformed the West German economy.
Honors & Awards
Georges Pompidou received the Croix de Guerre while serving in the French infantry during WWII.
Personal Legacy of Georges Pompidou
After his marriage, Claude Cahour lived with him till his death. He married and had a son named Alain.
Georges Pompidou died abruptly on April 2, 1974, after a long illness.
Estimated Net Worth
Georges is a wealthy and popular World Leader. Georges Pompidou net worth is estimated at $2 Million by Wikipedia, Forbes, and Business Insider.