François Mitterrand (1916–96) was the President of France for fourteen years, from 1981 to 1995. He died of prostate cancer – from which he had long been diagnosed – several months after the end of his presidency. François Mitterrand was born in Jarnac (Charente), into a bourgeois, Catholic and conservative family. His paternal grandfather was station master in Jarnac, although his father Joseph was an engineer for the Compagnie du Chemin de fer from Paris to Orléans, in 1919 moving to Jarnac to take up directorship of his father's vinegar factory: he later decame president of the Fédération nationale des syndicats de fabricants de vinaigre. François was the fifth child in the marriage between Joseph and Yvonne, and was baptised in Jarnac in May 1917. He is buried in Jarnac cemetery. No inside photography in his birthplace is allowed.
'DANS CETTE MAISON
EST NÉ LE 26 OCTOBRE 1916
PRÉSIDENT DE LE RÉPUBLIQUE
The front of the house.
And the back of it.
The old washing area.
The words 'Fabrique de Vinaigre' (Vinegar Factory) still clearly visible.
I couldn't avoid the light getting in.