The World at War


Paul Deschanel

French Author and Politician

Born: February 13, 1855 at Brussels, Belgium
Died: April 28, 1922 at Paris

President of the Republic: February 17 - September 21, 1920

     Deschanel authored books on literature and politics that earned him election to the Academie Francaise in 1899. His less distinguished political career began with his election to the Chamber of Deputies as a Progressive Republican in 1885.

     Deschanel was elected President of the Republic in 1920 defeating Georges Clemenceau. The Tiger's old enemies thought he should have gotten a better deal at the Versailles Conference and turned to Deschanel who was the first person elected to the presidency without prior ministerial experience. Shortly after his election, Deschanel began to suffer from senile dementia. He jumped off the presidential train in his pajamas on one occasion and was found floundering in the fountains at the Rambouillet chateau on another. After seven months in office, Deschanel was forced to resign in favor of Premier Alexandre Millerand and promptly elected to the Senate.

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