Émile Combes (1835–1921) was a politician who was mayor of Pons for forty-three years. Elected radical-socialiste sénateur of Charente-Inférieure in 1885, he became President of 'La Gauche Démocratique'. His anti-clericalism played a large part in the divorce of the state from the church. His writings are many, and include La Psychologie de saint Thomas d'Aquin, thèse présentée à la Faculté de Rennes (1860); De la Littérature des Pères et de son rôle dans l'éducation de la jeunesse (1864); and Considérations contre l'hérédité des maladies (1868). Below is the monument to him in the centre of Pons in the shadow of the donjon; the house in Pons where he lived for sixty years and where he died; and his grave in the Cimetière Saint-Martin in Pons.