Profession: Politician and Diplomat
Why Famous: While Talleyrand's career began as a bishop, he quickly worked his way to the highest levels of the French government. Under Louis XVI, the French Revolution, Napoleon, Louis XVIII, and Louis-Philippe, he typically served as the foreign minister or in other diplomatic roles. He was Napoleon's chief diplomat during his conquest of Europe.
Even those who saw him as a traitor couldn't deny the skill with which he carried out his office. Klemens von Metternich, the Austrian foreign minister and chancellor, once described him as a "sharp edged instrument, with which it is dangerous to play", and his name has since become a metaphor for a particularly resourceful and masterful statesman.
- 1815-07-09 Charles Maurice de Talleyrand-Périgord takes office as the first Prime Minister of France
- 1815-09-26 Charles Maurice de Talleyrand-Périgord resigns as Prime Minister of France