Profession: President of France
Why Famous: Jacques Chirac served two terms as President of France 1995-2007. Prior to that he served two terms as French Prime Minister (1974-76, 1986-88) and was Mayor of Paris from 1977 to 1995.
A conservative and a neo-Gallist Chirac was responsible for the privatization of many French corporations. As president Chirac took France in the European currency and introduced austerity measures which proved deeply unpopular and prompted a national strike in 1995.
Chirac's second Presidential term, won against the right-wing nationalist Jean-Marie Le Pen, was dominated by France's opposition to the conflict in Iraq against Saddam Hussein. This put him into conflict with American President George W. Bush.
His popularity also declined nationally, France refused to ratify a new European Union constitution and there was unrest over discrimination and unemployment in France.
- 1977-03-20 Parisians elect former PM Jacques Chirac as 1st mayor in a century
- 1986-03-20 Jacques Chirac forms French government
- 1995-05-07 Jacques Chirac wins French presidential election
- 1996-01-29 France will no longer test nuclear weapons, its president Jacques Chirac says, following international outcry over tests in the Pacific
- 2002-05-05 Jacques Chirac wins the French Presidential election for a second term defeating Jean-Marie Le Pen leader of the far-right National Front
- 2002-07-14 French President Jacques Chirac escapes an assassination attempt unscathed during Bastille Day celebrations
- 2011-12-15 Former French President Jacques Chirac is convicted of diverting public funds, receives a two-year suspended prison sentence