Charles de Gaulle, French army officer and statesman, 1890-1970

Charles André Joseph Marie de Gaulle was a French army officer and statesman who led the French Resistance against Nazi Germany in World War II and chaired the Provisional Government of the French Republic from 1944 to 1946. In 1958, he returned from retirement to become President of the Council of Ministers and rewrite the French Constitution. After approval by referendum the Fifth Republic was constituted. De Gaulle was elected as President of France in January 1959, a position he was reelected to in 1965 and held until 1969. He was the dominant political figure in France during the early part of the Cold War era; his legacy continues to influence French politics.