Known for movies

Short Info

DiedNovember 9, 1970, Colombey-les-Deux-Églises, France
SpouseYvonne de Gaulle
FactBrother of Pierre de Gaulle.

Charles de Gaulle was a French general and statesman who led the Free French Forces during World War II and later founded the French Fifth Republic in 1958. He served as the country’s president from 1959 to 1969.

De Gaulle was born in Lille, France, on November 22, 1890. His father, Henri de Gaulle, was a professor of literature at a local college. His mother, Jeanne Maillot, was a devout Catholic. De Gaulle had two sisters: Anne, who was two years older than him, and Marie, who was four years younger.

De Gaulle’s father died when he was just six years old. As a result, his mother became a dominant figure in his life. She instilled in him a love of France and a strong sense of duty.

De Gaulle attended Catholic schools for his primary and secondary education. He then enrolled at the prestigious École Militaire in Paris, where he graduated in 1912.

De Gaulle’s military career began with the outbreak of World War I in 1914. He served with distinction on the Western Front, rising to the rank of captain by the war’s end.

After the war, de Gaulle remained in the military and took part in the French occupation of Germany. He also served in Morocco and Algeria.

In 1940, de Gaulle was serving as a brigadier general in Paris when Nazi Germany invaded France. He refused to accept defeat and fled to London, where he established the Free French Forces.

De Gaulle led the Free French Forces throughout World War II, helping to liberate France from Nazi occupation. He also played a key role in the postwar period, helping to shape the country’s constitution and serving as its first president from 1958 to 1969.

De Gaulle’s legacy is complex. He is revered as a national hero in France but is also criticized for his authoritarianism and for his role in the Algerian War of Independence.

De Gaulle died at his home in Colombey-les-Deux-Églises, France, on November 9, 1970. He was 79 years old.

General Info

Full NameCharles de Gaulle
DiedNovember 9, 1970, Colombey-les-Deux-Églises, France
Height1.96 m
ProfessionPolitician, Soldier, Military Officer
EducationÉcole spéciale militaire de Saint-Cyr, Collège Stanislas de Paris


SpouseYvonne de Gaulle
ChildrenPhilippe de Gaulle, Anne de Gaulle, Élisabeth de Gaulle
ParentsHenri de Gaulle, Jeanne Maillot de Gaulle
SiblingsMarie-Agnès de Gaulle, Jaques de Gaulle, Pierre de Gaulle, Xavier de Gaulle


AwardsLegion of Honour, Order of Liberation, National Order of Merit, Croix de guerre 1939–1945, Croix de guerre 1914–1918, Royal Order of Cambodia, Order of the Dragon of Annam, Order of the Elephant, Royal Victorian Order, Order of the White Rose of Finland, Royal Victorian Chain, Order of the Royal...

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1[from his victory speech at the liberation of Paris, August 23, 1945] Paris! An outraged Paris! A broken Paris! A martyred Paris! But... a liberated Paris! Liberated by itself, liberated by its people with the help of the armies of France, with the support and the help of all of France, of the fighting France, of the only France, the real France, the eternal France!
2France has lost a battle, but France has not lost the war.
3[on action] Deliberation is the work of many men. Action, of one alone.
4Gold is absolute objectivity. It is blind, like justice. It has no politics and ideology, no likes or dislikes, no friends or enemies. All it recognizes is its possessor, whom it serves faithfully so long as he has it.


1All Parisian cinemas closed for the day, on November 12th 1970, as a mark of respect to him.
2Brother of Pierre de Gaulle.
3He caused an international incident in July 1967 while in the francophone province of Quebec as part of a state visit to Canada to celebrate its centennial and to attend the world's fair, Expo '67, in Montreal. On July 24th, speaking to a large crowd from a balcony on Montreal's city hall, de Gaulle uttered "Vive le Québec!" ("Long live Quebec!") then added, "Vive le Québec libre!" ("Long live free Québec!"). (Ironically, many Quebckers had supported De Gaulle's antagonists in Vichy during the war.) The speech caused outrage in Canada and a serious diplomatic rift between the two countries; de Gaulle was forced to leave the country. However, the event is seen as a watershed moment by the Quebecois sovereignty movement.
4Was recalled to power upon the collapse of the Fourth Republic due to its inability to resolve the Algerian War. The Fourth Republic was undermined by the May 13, 1958 seizure of government buildings in Algiers by French settlers, who acted with the support of the Army. The French settlers in Algeria were protesting what they saw as the French government's weakness in dealing with the Arab majority's quest for Algerian independence. The Gaullist General Jacques Massu was installed as president of a Committee of Civil and Army Public Security and the French military Commander-in-Chief in Algeria, General Raoul Salan, announced that the Army had "provisionally taken over responsibility for the destiny of French Algeria" During the crisis, De Gaulle widely increasingly seen as the only person who could settle the Algerian question and stop the military rebellion. General Salan had declared "Vive de Gaulle!" from the balcony of the Algiers Government-General building on May 15th. Two days later, de Gaulle answered that he was ready to "take on the powers of the Republic" in what essentially was a military coup d'etat to forestall an even more egregious coup. To questions that his ascendancy threatened civil liberties, de Gaulle responded that, to the contrary, "...I have reestablished them when they had disappeared. Who honestly believes that, at age 67, I would start a career as a dictator?" A republican by conviction, de Gaulle maintained throughout the crisis that he would accept power only from the lawfully constituted authorities of the state. De Gaulle's stock as savior of France rose as French paratroopers from Algeria seized Corsica and planned a landing near Paris to likely seize the National Assembly. Except for the Communists, leaders across the political spectrum agreed to support de Gaulle's return to power (with the notable exception of François Mitterrand, then a liberal). French President René Coty appealed to the "most illustrious of Frenchmen" to become the President of the Council (Prime Minister) of the Fourth Republic on May 29, 1958, and de Gaulle accepted, with the proviso that he was intent on abrogating the constitution of the Fourth Republic, which he blamed for France's political weakness. The other precondition of his return was that he be given wide emergency powers for six months and was permitted to propose a new constitution to the French people. De Gaulle became premier on June 1, 1958, and the National Assembly granted him emergency powers as befits a state of siege for six months. A referendum on a new constitution that created a strong presidency took place on September 28, 1958 and was approved by 79.2% of those who voted, thus creating the Fifth Republic, which has lasted nearly half a century. In the elections held in November 1958, de Gaulle and his supporters in the Union pour la Nouvelle République-Union Démocratique du Travail won a comfortable parliamentary majority. De Gaulle subsequently was elected President of the Republic by the National Assembly with 78% of the vote by an electoral college consisting of parliamentarians and local politicians and was inaugurated in January 1959. He won re-election in 1965 under the current system, beating Mitterand in the second round after failing to achieve a majority in the first round. In all, he served 10 years as president, resigning on April 28, 1969 after the failure of a referendum to reform the Senate and local government, feeling that he had lost the support of the people.
5After his return to Paris in 1944, he moved back into his old office at the War Ministry where he had served undersecretary of state for national defense and war, underscoring the continuity of the Third Republic (which he had represented in the government in exile in London) and denying the legitimacy of Vichy France. He served as the President of the provisional government from September 1944 through January 20, 1946, when he resigned. De Gaulle was tired of the conflict between the political parties and did not approve of the draft constitution for the Fourth Republic which he believed placed too much power in the hands of parliament, which made the state vulnerable to shifts in party alliances.
6In perfect health until his unforeseen death, it was reported that de Gaulle died in his armchair at his home in Colombey-les-deux-Églises of an aneurysm after having finished watching the evening news on television. Allegedly, his last words were "I feel a pain here", pointing to his neck, and fell unconscious due to the aneurysmal rupture seconds later. Within minutes he was dead.
7In an affront to the French and world political establishments and protocol, de Gaulle's will specifically stated that he was to be buried at Colombey-les-deux-Églises, and that no presidents or ministers attend his funeral, only his Compagnons de la Libération. The heads of State attended a simultaneous service held at Notre-Dame Cathedral. His will also specified that his tombstone bear the simple inscription "Charles de Gaulle, 1890-1970". He was nearly destitute when he died, and his family had to sell their residence, which was purchased by a foundation and is currently the Charles de Gaulle Museum.
8De Gaulle was descended, on his father's side, from a long line of aristocracy from Normandy and Burgundy which had been settled in Paris for about a century, whereas his mother's family were rich entrepreneurs from the industrial region of Lille in French Flanders. The most ancient de Gaulle ancestor recorded was a squire of King Philip Augustus in the 12th century. The name de Gaulle is thought to have evolved from a Germanic form "De Walle" meaning "the wall". Most of the ancient French nobility descended from Germanic lineages and often bore Germanic names.
9His name is synonymous with a political philosophy, "Gaullism" (from the French "Gaullisme"), an ideology based on his thoughts and actions that is still current powerful in France. The serving president, Jacques Chirac, is a Gaullist. Gaullism's central tenet is a desire for France to remain independent of influence from a foreign power. In foreign policy, national independence is stressed, with some degree of opposition to international organizations such as NATO. De Gaulle believed that France should not rely on any foreign country for its survival (thus the creation of the French nuclear deterrent) and that France should refuse subservience to any foreign power, be it the U.S. or the former Soviet Union. De Gaulle's policies of grandeur - the insistence that France is a major power in the world scene and military and economic forces to back this claim - also is part of Gaullism. The foreign policy of France was influenced by Gaullism even when Gaullists were not in power. Gaullism typically is equated with social conservatism, and it is generally considered a right-wing ideology, but there have also been left-wing Gaullists, the differences between the two consisting of differing social and economic policies. Gaullism has sometimes been characterized as a form of populism, since de Gaulle relied heavily on his personal charisma in the political realm.
10He and Yvonne Vendroux (who became known as "Tante Yvonne") had 3 children: Philippe (1921), Elisabeth (1924), and Anne (1928 - 1948). Anne, who had Down's syndrome, died at the age of 20.
11His namesake grandson represents France in the European Parliament as a member of the National Front party.
12He was voted greatest French person ever in 2005.
13Has his look-alike puppet in the French show Les guignols de l'info (1988) (although it's rarely utilized).
14Time Magazine's "Man of the Year" (1958)
15Served in WWI; he was wounded twice and taken POW by the Germans.
16President of the French Republic (8 January 1959 to 28 April 1969).
17Led the Free French during WWII.
18Children - Philippe de Gaulle (b. 1921), Elisabeth (1924-2013), and Anne (1928-1948).



Une mauvaise rencontre1981TV Movie play


Grenoble1968DocumentaryHimself (uncredited)
La visite du général de Gaulle au Québec1967Documentary shortHimself
Reise in die Gegenwart1966TV Movie documentaryHimself
Lothringer Kreuz und Halbmond - Frankreichs Stellung in Nahost1966TV Movie documentaryHimself
Men of Our Time1963TV Series documentaryHimself
Pariser Journal1962TV Series documentaryHimself
A Man Alone1962TV MovieHimself - Subject
Victory at Sea1953TV Series documentaryHimself
La Libération de Paris1944Documentary shortHimself
L'Afrique noire française1944Documentary shortHimself
The Volunteer1944ShortHimself (in film screened on board) (uncredited)
Croix de Lorraine en Italie1944Documentary shortHimself

Archive Footage

Mai 68, l'autre côté des barricadesDocumentary announcedHimself
L'ultimo sparviero2016
Goodbye Britain?2016TV Movie documentaryHimself
Mes Chers Contemporain2016TV SeriesHimself
Duels2016TV Series documentaryHimself
Our Queen at Ninety2016TV Movie documentaryHimself
Il pilota della croce di ferro2015
Nel segno dell'aquila2015
60 ans de télé2014TV Series documentaryHimself
La case du siècle2014TV Series documentaryHimself
3615 Usul2013TV Mini-SeriesHimself
Dalla Corsica alla linea gotica2013Himself
Geliebte Feinde - Die Deutschen und die Franzosen2013TV Series documentaryHimself
Docs interdits2013TV Series documentaryHimself
Teurer Freikauf - Das Geschäft mit den Rumäniendeutschen2013TV Movie documentaryHimself
De Gaulle und Adenauer - Eine deutsch-französische Freundschaft2013TV Movie documentaryHimself
Cinéphiles de notre temps2012TV Series documentaryHimself
Weltenbrand2012TV Series documentaryHimself
De Gaulle, le géant aux pieds d'argile2012TV Movie documentaryHimself
The Diamond Queen2012TV Series documentaryHimself
America's Book of Secrets2012TV SeriesHimself
20/202011TV Series documentaryHimself
Us Welcome, Us Go Home2011TV Movie documentaryHimself
World War II in Colour2010-2011TV Series documentaryHimself
De Gaulle, notre président2011TV Movie documentaryHimself
Foccart, l'homme qui dirigeait l'Afrique2010TV Movie documentaryHimself
Nazi Collaborators2010TV Mini-Series documentaryHimself
Mystères d'archives2009-2010TV Series documentary shortHimself
Je vous ai compris: De Gaulle 1958-19622010TV MovieHimself (uncredited)
Hors la loi2010Himself (uncredited)
The Autobiography of Nicolae Ceausescu2010DocumentaryHimself
Starfighter - Mit Hightech in den Tod2010TV Movie documentaryHimself
Apocalypse - La 2ème guerre mondiale2009TV Mini-Series documentaryHimself
The Queen: A Life in Film2008Video documentaryHimself
La rabbia di Pasolini2008DocumentaryHimself
Sagan2008Himself (uncredited)
A President to Remember2008DocumentaryHimself
682008TV Movie documentaryHimself
La résistance2008TV Mini-Series documentaryHimself
Zwischen den Fronten - Die neuen Achsen der Macht2008TV Series documentaryHimself
Arletty, Lady Paname2007TV Movie documentaryHimself
20 heures le journal2007TV SeriesHimself
Staline: Le tyran rouge2007TV Movie documentaryHimself
Michou d'Auber2007Himself (uncredited)
Le temps des yé-yé2007TV Movie documentaryHimself
L'état de Grace2006TV Mini-SeriesHimself
René Lévesque2006TV Mini-SeriesLui-même
Dans la peau de Jacques Chirac2006DocumentaryHimself
Yvonne de Gaulle, le rendez-vous de novembre2006TV Movie documentaryHimself
Le grand Charles2006TV SeriesHimself
Graffiti 602005TV Mini-Series documentaryHimself
J'ai vu tuer Ben Barka2005Himself (uncredited)
Ils voulaient tuer de Gaulle2005TV MovieHimself
Blowing Up Paradise2005TV Movie documentaryHimself
Radio France: 24 heures sur 242003TV Movie documentaryHimself
Unsere Besten2003TV SeriesHimself
René Lévesque, héros malgré lui2003TV Mini-Series documentaryHimself
Yalta: Peace, Power and Betrayal2003TV Movie documentaryHimself (uncredited)
The King of Communism: The Pomp & Pageantry of Nicolae Ceausescu2002TV Movie documentaryHimself
Le RIN2002DocumentaryHimself
Gladiators of World War II2002TV Series documentaryHimself
Canada: A People's History2001TV SeriesHimself
In the Mood for Love2000Himself (1966 visit to Cambodia) (uncredited)
De Gaulle - Churchill: Mémoires de guerre1999TV Movie documentaryHimself
Der Tod war schneller - Die Starfighter-Affäre1998TV Movie documentaryHimself
Biography1995-1996TV Series documentaryHimself
Inside the White House1995TV Movie documentaryHimself (uncredited)
The Century of Warfare1994TV Mini-Series documentaryHimself
The Making of a Leader (1919-1968)1994TV Movie documentaryHimself - Vive le Québec libre Speech, Flees Canada (uncredited)
George Stevens: D-Day to Berlin1994TV Movie documentaryHimself
Songs That Won the War1994TV Movie documentaryHimself (on Paris victory walk) (uncredited)
L'oeil de Vichy1993DocumentaryHimself
Fame in the Twentieth Century1993TV Series documentaryHimself (uncredited)
Stalking the President: A History of American Assassins1992DocumentaryHimself - at Graveside of JFK
The Complete Churchill1992TV Mini-Series documentaryHimself (uncredited)
A Year to Remember1991TV Series documentaryHimself
JFK1991Himself - Leading Dignitaries at JFK Funeral (uncredited)
Montréal vu par...1991Himself (Vive le Québec libre speech) (uncredited)
The 1940's: Music, Memories & Milestones1988Video documentaryHimself
The 1960's: Music, Memories & Milestones1988Video documentaryHimself (speech on Algerian Crisis)
Doctor Who1988TV SeriesHimself
Le journal d'un fou1987Himself
The Rock 'n' Roll Years1985-1986TV SeriesHimself
Yo amo a Hitler1984Himself (uncredited)
Vietnam: A Television History1983TV Series documentaryHimself
Genocide1982DocumentaryHimself (uncredited)
Ulysse1982Documentary shortHimself (uncredited)
Years of Lightning1981TV Series documentaryHimself
Grin Without a Cat1977DocumentaryHimself (uncredited)
A Bridge Too Far1977Himself - In Car with Churchill (uncredited)
The Mighty Continent1974TV Series documentaryHimself
Action: The October Crisis of 19701974DocumentaryHimself (Vive le Québec libre speech in Montreal)
The World at War1973-1974TV Mini-Series documentaryHimself
Ben Gurion Remembers1972DocumentaryHimself
Frankreich nach de Gaulle1970TV Movie documentaryHimself
The Sorrow and the Pity1969DocumentaryHimself (uncredited)
Dieu a choisi Paris1969Himself
The Extraordinary Seaman1969Himself (uncredited)
Hold On: It's the Dave Clark Five1968TV MovieHimself - President France
Was kommt nach de Gaulle?1967TV Movie documentaryHimself
This Week1967TV SeriesHimself
Paris brûle-t-il?1966Himself (in victory walk) (uncredited)
Anarchy U.S.A.1966DocumentaryHimself
Four Days in November1964DocumentaryHimself
La rabbia1963DocumentaryHimself
Was der Wehrmachtsbericht verschwieg1963DocumentaryHimself
The Norman Summer1962DocumentaryHimself
The DuPont Show of the Week1962TV SeriesHimself
Crusade in Europe1949TV Series documentaryHimself
The Cold War: Act 1 - France1948ShortCharles De Gaulle
Tunisian Victory1944DocumentaryHimself
Autour de Brazzaville1943Documentary shortHimself (uncredited)
Divide and Conquer1943DocumentaryHimself - with Churchill and FDR (uncredited)
United We Stand1942DocumentaryHimself

Source: IMDb, Wikipedia

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