André Malraux, 1901 - 1976

portrait of Andre Malraux
Photo by Giséle Freund (1935)

Born: 3 November 1901, Paris, France
Died: 23 November 1976, Créteil, France

Born into a wealthy Parisian family, his parents separated four years later, eventually divorced, and his father suicided in 1930 in response to the market crash the year before; André was raised by his mother, aunt, and grandmother at Bondy, a small town outside Paris. From early childhood he was nervous and had both verbal and vocal tics, it is likely that he had Tourette's syndrome. At 21 Malraux ventured into Indochina looking for lost temples, was arrested for removing bas reliefs from a Khmer temple, and came away opposed to French colonialism. He flew over the deserts of Arabia in 1933 and found the lost city of the Queen of Sheba. He fought with the Republicans in the Spanish Civil War, helping to organize their air force. He joined the French army in World War II, was captured in 1940, escaped to join the resistance, was captured by the Gestapo in 1944, and escaped to command a tank brigade in the defence of Strasbourg and in the attack on Stuttgart. He met Charles de Gaulle in the field, de Gaulle made him Minister of Information immediately after the war. He was named Minister of State in 1958, when de Gaulle was elected president the next year, Malraux became Minister of Culture for ten years. When Jackie Kennedy wanted to see the Mona Lisa, he brought the painting to the US. He wrote for the magazine Action and worked as an editor in a book company early in his career and wrote at least fifteen books from 1923 until his death.

Biography from Wikipedia and Authors' Calendar

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