François Hollande was born on 12 August 1954 in Rouen. His mother, Nicole Frédérique Marguerite Tribert (1927–2009), was a social worker, and his father, Georges Gustave Hollande (born 1923), is a retired ear, nose, and throat Doctor who "ran for local election on a far right ticket in 1959." The name "Hollande" meant "one originally from Holland" – it is mostly found in Hollande's ancestral homeland, Hauts-de-France, and it is speculated to be Dutch in origin. The earliest known member of the Hollande family lived circa 1569 near Plouvain, working as a miller.
When Hollande was thirteen, the family moved to Neuilly-sur-Seine, a highly exclusive suburb of Paris. He attended Saint-Jean-Baptiste-de-la-Salle boarding school, a private Catholic school in Rouen, the Lycée Pasteur, in Neuilly-sur-Seine, receiving his baccalaureut in 1972 then graduated with a bachelor's degree in Law from Panthéon-Assas University. Hollande studied at HEC Paris, graduated in 1975, and then attended the Institut d'études politiques de Paris and the École nationale d'administration (ENA). He did his military Service in the French Army in 1977. He graduated from the ENA in 1980 and chose to enter the prestigious Cour des comptes.
Five years after volunteering as a student to work for François Mitterrand's ultimately unsuccessful campaign in the 1974 presidential election, Hollande joined the Socialist Party. He was quickly spotted by Jacques Attali, a senior adviser to Mitterrand, who arranged for Hollande to run in legislative election of 1981 in Corrèze against Future President Jacques Chirac, who was then the leader of the Rally for the Republic, a Neo-Gaullist party. Hollande lost to Chirac in the first round.
He went on to become a special advisor to newly elected President Mitterrand, before serving as a staffer for Max Gallo, the government's spokesman. After becoming a municipal councillor for Ussel in 1983, he contested Corrèze for a second time in 1988, this time being elected to the National Assembly. Hollande lost his bid for re-election to the Assembly in the so-called "blue wave" of the 1993 election, described as such due to the number of seats gained by the Right at the expense of the Socialist Party.
For over thirty years, his partner was fellow Socialist Politician Ségolène Royal, with whom he has four children: Thomas (1984), Clémence (1985), Julien (1987) and Flora (1992). In June 2007, just a month after Royal's defeat in the French presidential election of 2007, the couple announced that they were separating.
As the end of Mitterrand's term in office approached, the Socialist Party was torn by a struggle of internal factions, each seeking to influence the direction of the party. Hollande pleaded for reconciliation and for the party to unite behind Jacques Delors, the President of the European Commission, but Delors renounced his ambitions to run for the French presidency in 1995. Former party leader Lionel Jospin resumed his position, and selected Hollande to become the official party spokesman. Hollande went on to contest Corrèze once again in 1997, successfully returning to the National Assembly.
That same year, Jospin became the Prime Minister of France, and Hollande won the election for his successor as First Secretary of the party, a position he would hold for eleven years. Because of the very strong position of the Socialist Party within the French government during this period, Hollande's position led some to refer to him the "Vice Prime Minister". Hollande would go on to be elected mayor of Tulle in 2001, an office he would hold for the next seven years.
The immediate resignation of Jospin from politics following his shock defeat by far-right candidate Jean-Marie Le Pen in the first round of the 2002 presidential election forced Hollande to become the public face of the party for the 2002 legislative election. Although he managed to limit defeats and was re-elected in his own constituency, the Socialists lost nationally. In order to prepare for the 2003 party congress in Dijon, he obtained the support of many notable personalities of the party and was re-elected first secretary against opposition from left-wing factions.
After the triumph of the Left in the 2004 regional elections, Hollande was cited as a potential presidential candidate, but the Socialists were divided on the European Constitution, and Hollande's support for the ill-fated "Yes" position in the French referendum on the European constitution caused friction within the party. Although Hollande was re-elected as first secretary at the Le Mans Congress in 2005, his authority over the party began to decline. Eventually his domestic partner, Ségolène Royal, was chosen to represent the party in the 2007 presidential election, where she would lose to Nicolas Sarkozy.
A few months after his split from Ségolène Royal was announced, a French website published details of a relationship between Hollande and French Journalist Valérie Trierweiler. In November 2007, Trierweiler confirmed and openly discussed her relationship with Hollande in an interview with the French weekly Télé 7 Jours. She remained a reporter for the magazine Paris Match, but ceased work on political stories. Trierweiler moved into the Élysée Palace with Hollande when he became President and started to accompany him on official travel.
The second ballot took place on 16 October 2011. Hollande won with 56% of the vote to Aubry's 43% and thus became the official Socialist and Radical Left Party candidate for the 2012 presidential election. All his main opponents in the primary – Aubry, Ségolène Royal, Arnaud Montebourg, and Manuel Valls – pledged their support to him for the general election.
As President, Hollande promised an early withdrawal of French combat troops present in Afghanistan in 2012. He also pledged to conclude a new contract of Franco-German partnership, advocating the adoption of a Directive on the protection of public services. Hollande has proposed "an acceleration of the establishment of a Franco-German civic Service, the creation of a Franco-German research office, the creation of a Franco-German industrial fund to Finance Common competitiveness clusters, and the establishment of a Common military headquarters". As well as this, Hollande has expressed a wish to "combine the positions of the Presidents of the European Commission and of the European Council (currently held by José Manuel Barroso and Herman Van Rompuy respectively) into a single office [...] and that it should be directly chosen" by the members of the European Parliament.
On 11 January 2013, Hollande authorised the execution of Operation Serval, which aimed to curtail the activities of Islamist extremists in the north of Mali. The intervention was popularly supported in Mali, as Hollande promised that his government would do all it could to "rebuild Mali". During his one-day visit to Bamako, Mali's capital, on 2 February 2013, he said that it was "the most important day in [his] political life". In 2014, Hollande took some of these troops out of Mali and spread them over the rest of the Sahel under Operation Barkhane, in an effort to curb jihadist militants.
On 25 January 2014, Hollande officially announced his separation from Valérie Trierweiler after the tabloid magazine Closer revealed his affair with Actress Julie Gayet. In September 2014, Trierweiler published a book about her time with Hollande titled Merci pour ce moment (Thank You for This Moment). The memoir claimed the President presented himself as disliking the rich, but in reality disliked the poor. The claim brought an angry reaction and rejection from Hollande, who said he had spent his life dedicated to the under-privileged.
Manila: Freedom of the City of Manila (26 February 2015).
Notwithstanding, with unemployment up to 10% as of December 2016 and domestic troubles over his tenure due to terrorism, he faced spikes and downturns in approval rates, ultimately making him one of the most unpopular French Presidents in history. On 1 December 2016, he announced he would not seek reelection in the 2017 French presidential election, and later endorsed Emmanuel Macron, who would go on to win the election.
Hollande's economic policies are wide-ranging, including supporting the creation of a European credit rating agency, the separation of lending and investment in banks, reducing the share of electricity generated by nuclear power in France from 75 to 50% in favour of renewable Energy sources, merging income tax and the General Social Contribution (CSG), creating an additional 45% for additional income of 150,000 euros, capping tax loopholes at a maximum of €10,000 per year, and questioning the relief solidarity tax on wealth (ISF, Impôt de Solidarité sur la Fortune) measure that should bring €29 billion in additional revenue. Hollande also signalled his intent to implement a 75% income tax rate on revenue earned above 1,000,000 euros per year, to generate the provision of development funds for deprived suburbs, and to return to a deficit of zero percent of GDP by 2017. The tax plan proved controversial, with courts ruling it unconstitutional in 2012, only to then take the opposite position on a redrafted version in 2013.