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Rene Mayer, Former Prime Minister of France, Dead at Age 77

December 18, 1972
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Rene Mayer, who died here Wednesday night at the age of 77, was one of the three French Jews who had served as their country’s Prime Ministers. The others were Leon Blum and Pierre Mendes-France. Though the grandson of Chief Rabbi Michel Mayer of Paris, Mr. Mayer showed little interest in Jewish affairs. For a time he served as a member of the Paris Jewish Consistory Committee and was a vice-president of the Alliance Israelite Universelle but took no active part in the work of these two organizations.

Born of a non-Jewish mother, the former Marthe Dupont, he entered politics during the occupation of France when General de Gaulle appointed him Minister of Transport and Naval Affairs in the Algiers Free French Government. In the post-war period, he served as Minister of Finance (1947), Defense (1948), and Justice (1949). Appointed Prime Minister Jan. 8, 1953, his government only lasted four months. After this, he devoted himself mainly to European affairs and his business career in which he was closely associated with the Rothschild bank and its president, Baron Guy de Rothschild.

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