Félix Gaillard

Félix Gaillard d'Aimé (French: [feliks ɡajaʁ]; 5 November 1919 – 10 July 1970) was a French Radical politician who served as Prime Minister under the Fourth Republic from 1957 to 1958. He was the youngest head of a French government since Napoleon.[1]

Félix Gaillard
Félix Gaillard.jpg
Prime Minister of France
In office
6 November 1957 – 14 May 1958
PresidentRené Coty
Preceded byMaurice Bourgès-Maunoury
Succeeded byPierre Pflimlin
Personal details
Born(1919-11-05)5 November 1919
Paris, France
Died10 July 1970(1970-07-10) (aged 50)
near Jersey
Political partyRadical


A senior civil servant in the Inland Revenue Service, Gaillard joined the Resistance and served on its Finance committee. As a member of the Radical Party, he was elected deputy of Charente département in 1946. During the Fourth Republic, he held a number of governmental offices, notably as Minister of Economy and Finance in 1957.

Prime ministerEdit

He became Prime Minister in 1957, but, not unusually for the French Fourth Republic; his term of office lasted only a few months. Gaillard was defeated in a vote of no confidence by the French National Assembly, in March 1958, after the bombing of Sakiet-Sidi-Youssef, a Tunisian village.

Later political careerEdit

President of the Radical Party from 1958 to 1961, he advocated an alliance of the center-left and the center-right parties. He represented a generation of young politicians whose careers were blighted by the advent of the Fifth Republic.


Gaillard was last seen alive on 9 July 1970, when he and two passengers boarded his yacht, the Marie Grillon and departed the island of Jersey to return to the French mainland after a brief stay. The next day, bits of the wreckage of the yacht were found at the Minquiers reefs, along with the bodies of the two passengers.[2] Gaillard's body was found, along with that of another passenger, floating in the English Channel on 12 July.[3]

Gaillard's Ministry, 6 November 1957 – 14 May 1958Edit

Political offices
Preceded by
Paul Ramadier
Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs
Succeeded by
Pierre Pflimlin
Preceded by
Maurice Bourgès-Maunoury
Prime Minister of France
Succeeded by
Pierre Pflimlin
Party political offices
Preceded by
Édouard Daladier
President of the Radical Party
Succeeded by
Maurice Faure


  1. ^ Biography in French on the Assemblée Nationale Web Site
  2. ^ "Ex-French Premier Missing in Channel". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. 11 July 1970. p. 2.
  3. ^ "Yacht Blast Yields Ex-Premier's Body". Atlanta Constitution. 11 July 1970. p. 2.