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Born Jan. 11, 1907, in Paris. French politician and statesman. Lawyer by education.
Mendés-France joined the Radical Socialist Party in the early 1930’s and was a deputy to parliament from 1932 to 1940 and from 1946 to 1958. During World War II he served in the Free French Air Force from 1941 to 1943. From September 1944 to April 1945 he was minister of the national economy in De Gaulle’s provisional government. Premier and foreign minister from June 1954 to February 1955, Mendés-France signed the Geneva agreements of 1954, which ended France’s colonial war in Indochina, and the Paris agreements of 1954. From February to May 1956, he was minister of state in Guy Mollet’s government. He resigned because he disagreed with the government’s colonial policy in Algeria.
Mendés-France was director of the International Monetary Fund from 1947 to 1958 and deputy director of the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development from 1946 to 1958. Vice-chairman of the Radical Socialist Party from 1955 to 1957, he left the party in 1959 and was for several years a member of the United Socialist Party.