Antoine Pinay

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Antoine Pinay
Antoine Pinay 1969.jpg
Antoine Pinay in 1969
Prime Minister of France
In office
8 March 1952 – 8 January 1953
Preceded byEdgar Faure
Succeeded byRené Mayer
French Ombudsman
In office
Preceded byfirst office holder
Succeeded byAimé Paquet
Personal details
Born(1891-12-30)30 December 1891
Saint-Symphorien-sur-Coise, Rhône, France
Died13 December 1994(1994-12-13) (aged 102)
Saint-Chamond, Loire, France
Political partyDemocratic Alliance
Democratic and Radical Union
Independent Radicals
Union for the New Republic

Antoine Pinay (French pronunciation: ​[ɑ̃twan piˈnɛ]; 30 December 1891[1] – 13 December 1994[2]) was a French conservative politician. He served as Prime Minister of France in 1952.


Antoine Pinay was born on 30 December 1891 in Saint-Symphorien-sur-Coise. He was child of Claude Pinay (5 July 1852 – 4 March 1919), and his wife, Marie Antoinette Besson (10 October 1861 – 23 November 1936).

On 25 April 1917, Pinay married Marguerite Fouletier (3 June 1895 – 3 December 1970)[3] and had two daughters and one son, Geneviève (1918–2017), Odette (1920–2015), and Pierre (1922–1964).

As a young man, Pinay fought in World War I and injured his arm so that it was paralyzed for the rest of his life.

After the war, he managed a small business and in 1929 he was elected mayor of Saint-Chamond, Loire.[4]

He was elected to the Chamber of Deputies in 1936, running as an independent candidate opposed to the Popular Front. In 1938 he was elected to the Senate, where he joined the Independent Radicals. On 10 July 1940 he voted to give the Cabinet presided over by Marshal Philippe Pétain authority to draw up a new constitution, effectively ending the French Third Republic and establishing Vichy France. In 1941, Antoine Pinay was appointed to the Conseil National of the Vichy Regime. He was also awarded the Order of the Francisque.[5] During the Occupation, Antoine Pinay remained mayor of Saint-Chamond, although he had been urged by General Georges to move to Algiers, in order to better protect the residents of this city. Yet, trying to associate him with Vichy is inappropriate : he resigned from the Conseil National within a few months and refused any official position with the Vichy regime, such as the préfecture de l'Hérault offered by Laval. Besides, he gave several hundreds of identity papers to help Jews and Résistance members flee from France to Algiers or Switzerland. An official commission in 1946 recognized his long lasting opposition to the Nazis and the help he gave to the Résistance and let him totally free of any charge.

In 1944 he was first placed on house arrest, and stripped of his right to be candidate to an election on 5 September 1945. After the intervention of René Cassin, the vice-president of the Conseil d'État, who pointed to his fierce opposition to the German occupation, his citizen rights were restored on 5 October 1945. On 2 June 1946 he could successfully run for election to the Assemblée Constituante as a moderate candidate.[6]

He helped create a conservative party, the National Center of Independents and Peasants (CNIP). He acquired the reputation as one of France's more spirited politicians and in 1952 became Prime Minister by virtue of being the most popular elected CNIP official. His ministry was seen as the return of the "classical right", discredited since the Liberation. He stabilized the finances of the French nation and the French currency.

Antoine Pinay with German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer, 1955.

In 1955, he was one of the participants of the Messina Conference, which would lead to the Treaty of Rome in 1957.

During the May 1958 crisis precipitated by the Algerian war, he supported Charles de Gaulle's return to power and approved of the Fifth Republic's constitution. He served as Finance Minister until 1960. In 1973, he was made "Médiateur de la République" (Ombudsman) by President Georges Pompidou.[7]

Having died at age of 102 years, 348 days, he is the third longest lived national head of government or head of state in history, behind only Chau Sen Cocsal Chhum and Celâl Bayar. He died 17 days before his 103rd birthday, and was buried in Saint-Symphorien-sur-Coise.[8] From 14 December 1990, when former Republic of China premier Zhang Qun died until his own death, Pinay was the world's oldest living former head of government.

Pinay's Ministry, 8 March 1952 – 8 January 1953


  • 11 August 1952 – André Marie succeeds Lapie as Minister of National Education.
Political offices
Preceded by
Maurice Bourgès-Maunoury
Minister of Public Works, Transport, and Tourism
Succeeded by
André Morice
Preceded by
Edgar Faure
Prime Minister of France
Succeeded by
René Mayer
Preceded by
Robert Buron
Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs
Succeeded by
Maurice Bourgès-Maunoury
Preceded by
Edgar Faure
Minister of Foreign Affairs
Succeeded by
Christian Pineau
Preceded by
Edgar Faure
Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs
Succeeded by
Wilfrid Baumgartner
Preceded by
Édouard Bonnefous
interim Minister of Public Works, Transport, and Tourism
Succeeded by
Robert Buron
Preceded by
Naruhiko Higashikuni
Oldest living state leader
20 January 1990 – 13 December 1994
Succeeded by
Morarji Desai


  1. ^ Lentz, Harris M. (4 February 2014). Heads of States and Governments Since 1945. Routledge. pp. 289–. ISBN 978-1-134-26490-2.
  2. ^ Antoine PINAY : Family tree by Marie GRANGER-THOMAS - Geneanet. Retrieved on 13 February 2018.
  3. ^ Marguerite Marie FOULETIER : Family tree by wikifrat – Geneanet. Retrieved on 13 February 2018.
  4. ^ Saxon, Wolfgang (14 December 1994) Antoine Pinay Is Dead at 102; Aided French Postwar Recovery. The New York Times.
  5. ^ Antoine Pinay, ou l’empreinte d’un mythe Archived 16 December 2007 at the Wayback Machine L'Humanité, 14 December 1994
  6. ^ Biography on the Assemblée Nationale Web site (Covers only Pinay's carrier from 1936 to 1958)
  7. ^ The World: The Non-Ombudsman. TIME Magazine, 19 February 1973.
  8. ^ PINAY Antoine (1891–1994) – Cimetières de France et d'ailleurs. Retrieved on 13 February 2018.

Further reading

  • Cook, Bernard A. (2001). Europe Since 1945: An Encyclopedia. Taylor & Francis. pp. 975–76.
  • Morris, Peter. "Homo politicus; the political careers of Pierre Pflimlin and Jacques Chaban‐Delmas." Modern & Contemporary France 1.1 (1993): 42–44.
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