The World at War


Paul Doumer

French Statesman

Born: March 22, 1857 at Aurillac
Died: May 6, 1932 at Paris

President of the Republic: May 13, 1931 - May 6, 1932

     Doumer entered politics as a Radical-Socialist deputy from the Department of Yonne (Sens) in 1889. He served a year as Minister of Finance under Leon Bourgeois in 1895. He resigned after failing to gain approval of a national income tax.

     As Governor General of Indochina from 1897 to 1902, Doumer tightened the Administration's hold over local functionaries and imposed heavy taxes. This put the colony on a sounder financial footing but engendered deep resentment among the natives.

     He returned to France, reentered the Chamber of Deputies in 1902 and moved on to the Senate in 1912 where he rose to Presidency and chairmanship of the budget committee from 1927 to '31.

     Doumer was elected President of the Republic in 1931 defeating Aristide Briand. He was assassinated by Russian émigré, Paul Gorguloff. The fatal shot was fired while Doumer was presiding at the opening a Paris book fair on the eve of the 1932 election.

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