Jean Lacouture

Jean Lacouture (9 June 1921 – 16 July 2015) was a journalist, historian and author. He was particularly famous for his biographies.[1]

Jean Lacouture
Jean Lacouture (2).jpg
Jean Lacouture in 2010
Born(1921-06-09)9 June 1921
Died16 July 2015(2015-07-16) (aged 94)
Roussillon, France
OccupationJournalist, historian


Jean Lacouture was born in Bordeaux, France. He began his career in journalism in 1950 in Combat as diplomatic redactor. He joined Le Monde in 1951. In 1953, he worked in Cairo for France Soir, before returning to Le Monde as director for the overseas services, and grand reporter (one of the highest titles in French journalism) until 1975.

Politically engaged on the Left, Lacouture supported decolonisation, and Mitterrand from 1981. He worked for the Nouvel Observateur, and L'Histoire. He is interviewed in the 1968 documentary film about the Vietnam War entitled In the Year of the Pig.

Lacouture was also director for publication at Seuil, one of the main French publishers, from 1961 to 1982, and professor at the IEP of Paris between 1969 and 1972.

He was mainly known to the public because of his biographies, including the lives of Ho Chi Minh, Nasser, Léon Blum, De Gaulle, François Mauriac, Pierre Mendès France, Mitterrand, Montesquieu, Montaigne, Malraux, Germaine Tillion, Champollion, Jacques Rivière, Stendhal and Kennedy.

A dedicated music lover, Lacouture was also president of a society of devotees of Georges Bizet. In 2015 he died in Roussillon, France.[2]


  • Jesuits: A Multibiography ISBN 1-887178-60-0
  • De Gaulle
  • Robert Capa ISBN 0-679-72336-6
  • Ho Chi Minh: A Political Biography. ISBN 0-394-70215-8
  • Vietnam: Between two truces ASIN B0006D759K
  • Montaigne à Cavalo ISBN 85-01-04759-7
  • Pierre Mendes France ISBN 0-8419-0856-7
  • The demigods: Charismatic leadership in the third world ISBN 0-394-42194-9
  • Nasser: A biography ISBN 0-394-46625-X
  • Léon Blum ISBN 0-8419-0776-5
  • J.F. Kennedy ISBN 2-09-754229-8
  • "l’Égypte en mouvement"


  1. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-03-06. Retrieved 2011-01-01.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  2. ^ "Mort de Jean Lacouture, éminent journaliste et biographe" (in French). Le Monde. 17 July 2015.