Debré, Michel

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Debré, Michel

 

Born Jan. 15, 1912, in Paris. French statesman and political leader. Lawyer.

During World War II, Debré took part in the French Resistance movement. From 1943 to 1944 he was assistant delegate to the French Committee of National Liberation (later the Provisional Government) in French territory occupied by the Hitlerites. He was one of the leaders of the Gaullist parties—the Union of French People (1947-54) and the Union for the New Republic (created in 1958 and renamed the Union of Democrats for the Republic in 1968). Debré was one of the drafters of the new Constitution of France, which was adopted in 1958 and which significantly broadened the powers of the president. From June 1958 to January 1959 he was minister of justice in the De Gaulle government. From 1959 to 1962 he was premier, from 1966 to 1968, minister of economy and finance, from 1968 to 1969, minister of foreign affairs, and from 1969 to 1973, minister of defense.