François Maurice Adrien Marie Mitterrand (French: [fʁɑ̃swa mɔʁis mitɛˈʁɑ̃] ( listen); 26 October 1916 – 8 January 1996) was the 21st President of the French Republic and ex officio Co-Prince of Andorra, serving from 1981 until 1995. He is the longest-serving President of France and, as leader of the Socialist Party, the first figure from the left elected President under the Fifth Republic.
Reflecting family influences, Mitterrand started political life on the Catholic nationalist right. He served under the Vichy Regime in its earlier years. Subsequently, however, he joined the Resistance, moved to the left, and held ministerial office repeatedly under the Fourth Republic. He opposed de Gaulle's establishment of the Fifth Republic. Although at times a politically isolated figure, Mitterrand outmanoeuvred rivals to become the left's standard bearer in every presidential election from 1965 to 1988, except 1969. Elected President in the May 1981 presidential election, he was re-elected in 1988 and held office until 1995.
Mitterrand invited the Communist Party into his first government, a controversial move at the time. In the event, the Communists were boxed in as junior partners and,