Edgar Jean Faure (French: [ɛdɡaʁ foʁ]; 18 August 1908 – 30 March 1988) was a French politician, lawyer, essayist, historian and memoirist who served as Prime Minister of France in 1952 and again between 1955 and 1956.[1][2] Prior to his election to the National Assembly for Jura under the Fourth Republic in 1946, he was a member of the French Committee of National Liberation (CFLN) in Algiers (1943–1944). A Radical, Faure was married to writer Lucie Meyer. In 1978, he was elected to the Académie Française.

Edgar Faure
Edgar Faure 1955.jpg
Faure at the 1955 Geneva Summit
Prime Minister of France
In office
23 February 1955 – 1 February 1956
PresidentRené Coty
Preceded byPierre Mendès France
Succeeded byGuy Mollet
In office
20 January 1952 – 8 March 1952
PresidentVincent Auriol
Preceded byRené Pleven
Succeeded byAntoine Pinay
President of the National Assembly
In office
2 April 1973 – 2 April 1978
Preceded byAchille Peretti
Succeeded byJacques Chaban-Delmas
Personal details
Edgar Jean Faure

18 August 1908
Béziers, France
Died30 March 1988(1988-03-30) (aged 79)
7th arrondissement of Paris, France
Resting placePassy Cemetery, Paris
Political partyRadical Party (1929–1956; 1958–1965; 1977–1988)
Other political
Union for the New Republic (1965–1967)
Union of Democrats for the Republic (1967–1977)
Rally for the Republic (1977)
Spouse(s)Lucie Meyer


Faure was born in Béziers, Hérault, to a French Army doctor. He was nearsighted yet a brilliant student since his youth, earning a baccalauréat at 15, as well as a law degree at 19 in Paris.[1][2] At 21 years of age he became a member of the bar association, the youngest lawyer in France to do so at the time. While living in Paris, he became active in Third Republic politics; he joined the Radical Party in 1929.

Faure in 1939

During the German occupation of World War II, he joined the French Resistance in the Maquis. In 1942, he fled to Charles de Gaulle's headquarters in Algiers, where he was made head of the Provisional Government of the Republic's legislative department. At the end of the war, he served as French counsel for the prosecution at the Nuremberg Trials.[3]

In 1946, he was elected to the French Parliament as a Radical.[2] While the popularity of his party declined to less than 10% of the total vote, none of the other parties was able to gain a clear majority. Therefore, early on, his party often played a disproportionately important role in the formation of governments. He thus led the cabinet in 1952 and from 1955 to 1956. Faure was a leader of the more conservative wing of the party, opposing the party's left, under Pierre Mendès France.[citation needed]

Faure's views changed during the Fourth Republic; after initial opposition to the Fifth Republic (he voted against presidential election by universal suffrage in the 1962 referendum), he eventually became a Gaullist. The Gaullist Party, the Union for the New Republic, sent him on an unofficial mission to the People's Republic of China in 1963. In government he served in successive ministries: Agriculture (1966–1968), National Education (1968–1969, where he was responsible for pushing through reform of the universities) and Social Affairs (1972–1973). He declined to be a candidate at the 1974 presidential election, in which he supported Valéry Giscard d'Estaing against the Gaullist candidate, Jacques Chaban-Delmas.

He had the reputation of a careerist and the nickname of "weathercock". He replied with humour, "it is not the weathercock which turns; it is the wind!"

He was a member of the National Assembly for the Jura department from 1946 to 1958, as well as for the Doubs department from 1967 to 1980. He presided over the National Assembly from 1973 to 1978. He sought another term as President of the Assembly President in 1978 but was defeated by Chaban-Delmas. Faure was a Senator from 1959 to 1967 for Jura and again, in 1980, for Doubs. In 1978, he became a member of the Académie Française.

On the regional, departmental and local levels, Edgar Faure was Mayor of Port-Lesney, Jura from 1947 to 1971 and again from 1983 to 1988, as well as Mayor of Pontarlier between 1971 and 1977; he served as President of the General Council of the Jura department from 1949 to 1967, then member of the General Council of the Doubs from 1967 to 1979, President of the Regional Council of Franche-Comté (1974–1981, 1982–1988). He played a key role during the creation and first years of the Assembly of European Regions (AER), becoming his first president in 1985 and staying in that position until 1988.[citation needed]

He was buried at the Cimetière de Passy, Paris, where his wife Lucie Meyer was buried following her death in 1977.[4]

Personal lifeEdit

Lucie and Edgar Faure in 1955

In 1931, Faure married writer Lucie Meyer, a daughter of a silk merchant. They spent their one-month-long honeymoon in the Soviet Union.[1]

Political careerEdit

Governmental functions

  • President of the Council (Prime Minister): January–February 1952 / February–December 1955
  • Secretary of State for Finance: 1949–1950
  • Minister of the Budget: 1950–1951
  • Minister of Justice: 1951–1952
  • Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs: 1953–1955
  • Minister of Foreign Affairs: January–February 1955
  • Minister of Finance, Economic Affairs and Planning: May–June 1958
  • Minister of Agriculture: 1966–1968
  • Minister of National Education: 1968–1969
  • Minister of State, Minister of Social Affairs: 1972–1973

Electoral mandates


He published the following books:

  • Le serpent et la tortue (les problèmes de la Chine populaire), Juillard, 1957
  • La disgrâce de Turgot, Gallimard, 1961
  • La capitation de Dioclétien, Sirey 1961
  • Prévoir le présent, Gallimard, 1966
  • L'éducation nationale et la participation, Plon, 1968
  • Philosophie d'une réforme, Plon, 1969
  • L'âme du combat, Fayard, 1969
  • Ce que je crois, Grasset, 1971
  • Pour un nouveau contrat social, Seuil, 1973
  • Au-delà du dialogue avec Philippe Sollers, Balland, 1977
  • La banqueroute de Law, Gallimard, 1977
  • La philosophie de Karl Popper et la société politique d'ouverture, Firmin Didot, 1981
  • Pascal: le procès des provinciales, Firmin Didot, 1930
  • Le pétrole dans la paix et dans la guerre, Nouvelle revue critique 1938
  • Mémoires I, "Avoir toujours raison, c'est un grand tort", Plon, 1982
  • Mémoires II, "Si tel doit être mon destin ce soir", Plon, 1984
  • Discours prononcé pour la réception de Senghor à l'Académie française, le 29 mars 1984


First ministry (20 January – 8 March 1952)Edit

Second ministry (23 February 1955 – 1 February 1956)Edit


  • 6 October 1955 – Pierre Billotte succeeds Koenig as Minister of National Defense and Armed Forces. Vincent Badie succeeds Triboulet as Minister of Veterans and War Victims.
  • 20 October 1955 – Pierre July leaves the Cabinet and the office of Minister of Moroccan and Tunisian Affairs is abolished.
  • 1 December 1955 – Edgar Faure succeeds Bourgès-Maunoury as interim Minister of the Interior.


  1. ^ a b c Foreign News: FRANCE'S NEW PREMIER Archived 29 June 2015 at the Wayback Machine. Time. 7 March 1955
  2. ^ a b c Edgar Faure Archived 1 June 2021 at the Wayback Machine. Encyclopædia Britannica
  3. ^ Macdonald, Alexander (8 September 2015). The Nuremberg Trials: The Nazis brought to justice. Arcturus Publishing. ISBN 9781784281267. Archived from the original on 13 August 2021. Retrieved 17 October 2020.
  4. ^ "Edgar Faure (1908-1988) - Find A Grave Memorial". www.findagrave.com. Archived from the original on 10 November 2017. Retrieved 10 November 2017.
Political offices
Preceded by Minister of the Budget
Succeeded by
Preceded by Minister of Justice
Succeeded by
Preceded by Prime Minister of France
Succeeded by
Preceded by Minister of Finance
Succeeded by
Preceded by Minister of Finance
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Minister of Planning
Succeeded by
Preceded by Minister of Foreign Affairs
Succeeded by
Preceded by Prime Minister of France
Succeeded by
Preceded by Ad interim Minister of the Interior
Succeeded by
Preceded by Minister of Finance, Economic Affairs and Planning
Succeeded by
Preceded by Minister of Agriculture
Succeeded by
Preceded by Minister of National Education
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Minister of State, Minister of Social Affairs
Succeeded by
Preceded by President of the National Assembly
Succeeded by