Valery Giscard d'Estaing was the president of France from 1974 to 1981. Historians have largely viewed Giscard as a capable politician. One who was at the helm of his country during a tumultuous time.

Even after his term as president, Giscard remained an active figure in French politics. He was a noted advocate for European integration. As noted by The Hill, he was a key figure in the implementation of the Euro. Giscard passed away on December 2, 2020.

Died from COVID-19

Valery Giscard d'Estaing died at his family home, reports Reuters. The cause of death was COVID-19. Giscard is perhaps the most high-profile victim of COVID-19 in France, and one of the most high-profile in the world.

The former president was diagnosed with the disease in September. He would be hospitalized for it at least two times. On both accounts, he would be released from the hospital.

Giscard is the second former French president to pass away in as many years, following Jacques Chirac, who'd been prime minister under Giscard, in 2019. Chirac had apparently directly or indirectly led to the end of Giscard's Presidency. A center-right politician, Giscard was very popular when he came up for re-election in 1981. However, French voters on the political right were divided. Some supported the incumbent, while others favored Chirac, who was no longer the prime minister.

The divided front likely helped lead to Giscard's loss in 1981, despite his good standing in opinion polls.

Giscard would later support Chirac's Presidency. However, personal rivalry remained.

From 1986 to 2004, he was the president of the Regional Council of Auvergne in central France. A position somewhat equivocal to being a governor of a U.S. state. The regions of Auvergne and Rhone-Alpes have since merged to become Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes.

Giscard was a World War II veteran

Giscard was born in what is now Germany during France's occupation of the Rhineland. His brother, Olivier, would become a member of the French Parliament and mayor of Estaing. Their grandfather, Jacques Bardoux, also served in the Parliament.

During World War II, Giscard was a member of the French Resistance. He would take part in the Liberation of Paris.

At one point, he was assigned to protect the noted politician and diplomat Alexandre Parodi.

During the 1950s, Giscard was a staffer for Prime Minister Edgar Faure. In 1956, he was first elected to the National Assembly, France's Parliament's lower house. He was elected from Puy-de-Dome in Auvergne.

Giscard would twice serve as the minister of the economy and finance. During his second tenure, he was also the mayor of Chamalieres, located within Puy-de-Dome.

Giscard and his wife, Anne-Aymone, were married for nearly 60 years. They had four children, including their son, Louis, the current mayor of Chamalieres and former member of the National Assembly.

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