Famous French Activists

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 1 
Brigitte Bardot
(French Actress and Singer Known for Her Films: ‘And God Created Woman’ and ‘Viva Maria!’)
Brigitte Bardot
7
Birthdate: September 28, 1934
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Paris, France

Brigitte Bardot is a French former singer and actress. One of the most popular sex symbols of the 1950s and 1960s, Bardot remains a major pop culture icon despite quitting the entertainment industry in 1973. Bardot is credited with popularizing the bikini. She also popularized the town of Armação dos Búzios and the city of St. Tropez in Brazil.

 2 
Marion Cotillard
(French Actress Best Known for Her Films: 'La Vie en Rose' and 'Two Days, One Night')
Marion Cotillard
8
Birthdate: September 30, 1975
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Paris, France
Marion Cotillard delivered an Academy Award-winning performance as Edith Piaf in La Vie en Rose, becoming the first to win the award for a French-language film. She was appreciated for her iconic role of Joan of Arc on stage. She has promoted Lady Dior bags and Chanel No. 5 fragrance.
 3 
Simone de Beauvoir
(French Existentialist Philosopher, Writer, Social Theorist, and Feminist Activist)
Simone de Beauvoir
4
Birthdate: January 9, 1908
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: April 14, 1986
French author and existentialist philosopher Simone de Beauvoir is best remembered for her feminist treatise The Second Sex and her novels The Mandarins and She Came to Stay. Her literary contributions also include essays, biographies, and her autobiographical works. She won the Prix Goncourt and the Jerusalem Prize.
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 4 
Michel Foucault
(Philosopher & Historian)
Michel Foucault
5
Birthdate: October 15, 1926
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Poitiers, France
Died: June 25, 1984

If others thought the body was the prison of the soul, Paul-Michel Foucault felt the other way round. The French philosopher, literary critic and Leftist who interpreted the link between power and knowledge, was a post-structuralist whose theories have left a mark on anthropology, psychology and criminology. The feminist was one of the noted personalities to have died of HIV/AIDS.

 5 
Simone Weil
(French Mystic, Social Philosopher and Resistance Activist During World War II)
Simone Weil
3
Birthdate: February 3, 1909
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: August 24, 1943
Paris-born philosopher and activist Simone Weil could speak in Sanskrit and Greek as a student. Called The Martian by her classmates, due to her peculiar nature, she died of cardiac failure at 34, refusing to eat more than the people of German-occupied France, in spite of being diagnosed with tuberculosis. 
 6 
Olympe de Gouges
(French Playwright, Political Activist, and Advocate for Women's Rights)
Olympe de Gouges
3
Birthdate: May 7, 1748
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Montauban, France
Died: November 3, 1793

Olympe de Gouges was an 18th-century French playwright and political activist. Her writings on women's rights and abolitionism were popular in various countries. She was an outspoken advocate against the slave trade in the French colonies. She demanded that French women be given the same rights as French men. She was executed during the Reign of Terror.

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 7 
Jean-Marie Le Pen
(French Far-Right Politician)
Jean-Marie Le Pen
3
Birthdate: June 20, 1928
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: La Trinité-sur-Mer, France

Jean-Marie Le Pen is a French politician who focuses on issues pertaining to the European Union, immigration to France, France's unemployment, and law and order. From 1972 to 2011, he worked as President of the National Front. From 2011 to 2015, Le Pen served as the National Front's Honorary President.

 8 
Elif Shafak
(Writer)
Elif Shafak
3
Birthdate: October 25, 1971
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Strasbourg, France

Known widely as Turkey’s most popular female author, Elif Shafak is best known for her Booker-shortlisted bestseller 10 Minutes 38 Seconds in This Strange World. A fierce advocate for gender equality and LGBTQ rights, she is also a 3-time TEDGlobal speaker. She now lives in London, on a self-imposed exile.

 9 
Jean-Michel Cousteau
(French Environmentalist, Oceanographic Explorer, Film Producer, and Educator)
Jean-Michel Cousteau
3
Birthdate: May 6, 1938
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Toulon

Jean-Michel Cousteau is a French environmentalist, oceanographic explorer, film producer, and educator. He is also an ardent advocate of a world without nuclear weapons. Cousteau is also credited with founding an education organization and marine conservation called Ocean Futures Society. Inspired by his documentary Voyage to Kure, President George W. Bush took measures to safeguard the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument.

Charles-Michel de l'Épée
4
Birthdate: November 24, 1712
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Versailles, Yvelines, France
Died: December 23, 1789

Eighteenth-century philanthropic educator Charles-Michel de l'Épée is regarded as the Father of the Deaf for pioneering the education of the deaf and dumb. He laid down the Signed French system, which enabled the deaf to participate in legal proceedings. His French Sign Language laid the path to the American Sign Language.

 11 
Marina Picasso
(Humanitarian)
Marina Picasso
2
Birthdate: November 14, 1950
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: France

Marina Picasso is a French humanitarian best known as the granddaughter of popular Spanish painter and sculptor Pablo Picasso. After inheriting a fifth of Pablo Picasso's estate, Marina Picasso used much of the inheritance to support humanitarian programs for children in need. Marina Picasso is credited with establishing a charitable organization called The Marina Picasso Foundation.

 12 
Hélène Cixous
(French Feminist Writer and Philosopher Best Known for Her Article ‘The Laugh of the Medusa’)
Hélène Cixous
3
Birthdate: June 5, 1937
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Oran, Algeria

Hélène Cixous is a professor, poet, playwright, rhetorician, literary critic, philosopher, and French feminist writer. She is best known for writing an article titled The Laugh of the Medusa, which earned her popularity and established her as a thinker in post-structural feminism.

 13 
Alexander Berkman
3
Birthdate: November 21, 1870
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Vilnius
Died: June 28, 1936

Alexander Berkman was a Russian-American anarchist and author. He was famous for both his political activism and his writing and was a leading member of the anarchist movement in the early 20th century. He served as the editor of fellow anarchist Emma Goldman's anarchist journal, Mother Earth. He suffered from ill-health in his later years and died by suicide. 

 14 
Delphine Seyrig
(Actress and Film-Director Known for Her Role 'Colette de Montpellier' in Film ‘The Day of the Jackal’)
Delphine Seyrig
3
Birthdate: April 10, 1932
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Beirut, Lebanon
Died: October 15, 1990

Lebanese-born-French actress and film-director Delphine Seyrig played diverse roles in films and stage works. She garnered international recognition performing in the film Last Year at Marienbad and bolstered her career with other films like The Day of the Jackal and Muriel ou Le temps d'un retour. A prominent feminist-figure in France, Seyrig also directed films like Sois belle et tais-toi.   

 15 
Luce Irigaray
(Philosopher, linguist, Feminist)
Luce Irigaray
3
Birthdate: May 3, 1930
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Bernissart, Belgium
 16 
Julia Kristeva
(Bulgarian-French Author and Academic Whose Themes Surrounded on Feminism, Semiotics, and Psychoanalysis)
Julia Kristeva
3
Birthdate: June 24, 1941
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Sliven, Bulgaria

Bulgarian-born French author and literary critic Julia Kristeva is also a professor at the University Paris Diderot. Her writings, such as the Female Genius trilogy, are centered around feminism, semiotics, and psychoanalysis. She has also pioneered semanalysis and has been recognized with honors such as Commander of the Legion of Honor.

 17 
Coccinelle
(Actress)
Coccinelle
2
Birthdate: August 23, 1931
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: October 9, 2006
 18 
Daniel Defert
(Sociologist)
Daniel Defert
3
Birthdate: September 10, 1937
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Avallon, France

Best known as the partner of legendary French philosopher Michel Foucault, Daniel Defert was initially a professor of sociology. After Foucault died of AIDS, Defert turned into an AIDS activist and formed AIDES, France’s first AIDS awareness organization. He inherited Foucault’s estate, despite opposition from Foucault’s family.

 19 
Louise Michel
(French Anarchist Who Fervently Preached Revolutionary Socialist Themes)
Louise Michel
3
Birthdate: May 29, 1830
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Vroncourt-la-Côte, France
Died: January 9, 1905

A significant figure of the Paris Commune, Louise Michel was born as an illegitimate child of a maid. She had initially been trained to be a teacher but later began developing an interest in revolutionary socialist ideas. She was also once sent behind bars for inciting riots.

 20 
Benjamin Constant
(Swiss-French Statesmen, Political Thinker and Activist )
Benjamin Constant
2
Birthdate: December 25, 1767
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Lausanne, Switzerland
Died: December 8, 1830

Swiss-French activist and author Benjamin Constant is best remembered for penning the classic French novel Adolphe, which was one of the earliest psychological novels. Initially the chamberlain to the duke of Brunswick, he later supported the French Revolution and became a Member of the Chamber of Deputies.

 21 
Princess María Teresa of Bourbon-Parma
(Political Activist and a Member of the 'House of Bourbon-Parma')
Princess María Teresa of Bourbon-Parma
3
Birthdate: July 28, 1933
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: March 26, 2020

Her activism and outspokenness had earned Princess María Teresa of Bourbon-Parma the nickname Red Princess. Part of the Spanish royal family, she was educated at the Sorbonne. She later supported the Carlist movement and was a champion of women’s rights, too. She eventually died of COVID-19 at age 86.

 22 
Marlene Schiappa
(Politician)
Marlene Schiappa
2
Birthdate: November 18, 1982
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Paris, France
 23 
Alexandra Cousteau
2
Birthdate: March 21, 1976
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Los Angeles County, California, United States
 24 
Madame Roland
(French Revolutionary, Salonnière and Writer)
Madame Roland
2
Birthdate: March 17, 1754
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: November 8, 1793

The wife of Jean-Marie Roland, Madame Roland was a leading French revolutionary and often hosted significant political meets at her salon. She often directed her husband’s political actions and was responsible for creating a rift between the Jacobin and Girondin factions. She was later arrested and guillotined.

 25 
Beate Klarsfeld
(Franco-German Journalist and Nazi Hunter)
Beate Klarsfeld
2
Birthdate: February 13, 1939
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Berlin, Nazi Germany

Beate Klarsfeld is a Franco-German journalist best known for her work as a Nazi hunter. Beate and her husband Serge Klarsfeld achieved popularity for their documentation of many Nazi war criminals, including Alois Brunner, Kurt Lischka, Klaus Barbie, and Kurt Asche. Over the years, Beate Klarsfeld has been honored with numerous prestigious awards, including National Jewish Book Award.

 26 
Serge Klarsfeld
(Political activist)
Serge Klarsfeld
2
Birthdate: September 17, 1935
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Bucharest, Romania

Serge Klarsfeld is a Romanian-born French Nazi hunter and activist. He is best known for recording the Holocaust in order to enable the trial and prosecution of war criminals. Klarsfeld is also renowned for his efforts to commemorate the victims of German-occupied France.

 27 
Louis Auguste Blanqui
(French Revolutionary and Political Activist Known for His Revolutionary Theory of 'Blanquism')
Louis Auguste Blanqui
2
Birthdate: February 8, 1805
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Puget-Theniers, France
Died: January 1, 1881

Louis Auguste Blanqui was a French socialist who gave rise to Blanquism, a form of radicalism. While he initially studied both medicine and law, he later stepped into politics. He had been imprisoned for more than three decades and died of a stroke after a political speech at age 75.

 28 
Françoise Dior
(A Prominent Neo-Nazi Figure and Niece of Fashion Designer Christian Dior)
Françoise Dior
0
Birthdate: April 7, 1932
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: January 20, 1993

French socialite Françoise Dior was the niece of world-renowned designer Christian Dior. However, the heiress later became a Nazi sympathizer and married neo-Nazi figure and Holocaust denier Colin Jordan. She was associated with the National Socialist Movement but eventually lost most of her fortune and died in oblivion.

 29 
Monique Wittig
(Novelist)
Monique Wittig
2
Birthdate: July 13, 1935
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Dannemarie, France
Died: January 3, 2003
 30 
Line Renaud
(Singer)
Line Renaud
2
Birthdate: July 2, 1928
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Nieppe, France
 31 
Celine Cousteau
(Public Figure and Socio-Environmental Advocate)
Celine Cousteau
2
Birthdate: June 6, 1972
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Los Angeles County, California, United States

Celine Cousteau is a public figure and socio-environmental advocate. She is renowned for her work as an explorer, documentary filmmaker, artist, public speaker, designer, and brand ambassador. Céline Cousteau is credited with founding CauseCentric Productions, which produces multi-media content.

 32 
Danielle Mitterrand
(François Mitterrand's wife)
Danielle Mitterrand
2
Birthdate: October 29, 1924
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Verdun, Meuse, France
Died: November 22, 2011
 33 
Inessa Armand
(Politician)
Inessa Armand
2
Birthdate: May 8, 1874
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: September 24, 1920
Margaret of Valois-Angouleme
2
Birthdate: April 11, 1492
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Angoulême, France
Died: December 21, 1549

Margaret of Valois-Angouleme, the wife of Henry II of Navarre, was a significant figure of the French Renaissance, and is also regarded as The First Modern Woman. She patronized artists and was herself an author, with several short stories and a religious poem to her credit.

 35 
Ouida
(Novelist)
Ouida
2
Birthdate: January 1, 1839
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Bury Saint Edmunds, England
Died: January 25, 1908
 36 
Dionys Mascolo
(Left-wing Political Activist, Essayist)
Dionys Mascolo
2
Birthdate: February 11, 1916
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Val-d'Oise, France
Died: August 20, 1997
 37 
Flora Tristan
2
Birthdate: April 7, 1803
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Bordeaux, France
Died: November 14, 1844
 38 
Gisèle Halimi
2
Birthdate: July 27, 1927
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: La Goulette, Tunisia
Died: July 28, 2020
 39 
Frederique Bel
2
Birthdate: March 24, 1975
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Annecy, France
 40 
Pauline Harmange
(Feminist writer and a self-declared misandrist)
Pauline Harmange
2
Birthdate: December 6, 1994
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: France
 41 
Rama Yade
(Senegalese-Born French Politician, Feminist, and Author)
Rama Yade
2
Birthdate: December 13, 1976
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Ouakam, Dakar, Senegal

Born in Senegal, French politician and author Rama Yade started her career as a top-level civil servant with the French Senate. The UMP member has led France as its Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs and Human Rights and for Sports. She has also represented France at the UNESCO.

 42 
Frédéric Passy
(Economist & Nobel Peace Prize Winner)
Frédéric Passy
2
Birthdate: May 20, 1822
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Paris
Died: June 12, 1912

Frédéric Passy was a French pacifist and economist. He is credited with co-founding the Inter-Parliamentary Union as well as many peace societies, such as the Société Française pour l'Arbitrage entre Nations. He is best known for his involvement in the European peace movement, for which he received the prestigious Nobel Peace Prize in 1901. 

 43 
Judy Minx
(Adult film star)
Judy Minx
2
Birthdate: January 4, 1989
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Paris, France
 44 
Christophe Jaffrelot
(Political scientist)
Christophe Jaffrelot
2
Birthdate: February 12, 1964
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Poissy, France
 45 
Sylvain Tesson
2
Birthdate: April 26, 1972
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Paris, France
 46 
Zineb El Rhazoui
(Journalist)
Zineb El Rhazoui
2
Birthdate: January 19, 1982
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Casablanca, Morocco

Zineb El Rhazoui is a French journalist best known for her contribution as a columnist for the popular magazine Charlie Hebdo where she worked from 2011 to 2017. Rhazoui was in Morocco on 7 January 2015 when the Charlie Hebdo massacre took place. Since 2015, Rhazoui has been working as a human rights campaigner, speaking about free speech and Islam.

 47 
Prince Sadruddin Aga Khan
(Statesman and activist who served as United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees from 1966 to 1977)
Prince Sadruddin Aga Khan
2
Birthdate: January 17, 1933
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Neuilly-sur-Seine, France
Died: May 12, 2003
 48 
Paul Rassinier
2
Birthdate: March 18, 1906
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Bermont, France
Died: July 28, 1967
 49 
Marie Souvestre
(Educator)
Marie Souvestre
2
Birthdate: May 28, 1830
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Brest, France
Died: March 30, 1905
 50 
Annie Belle
(Actress)
Annie Belle
2
Birthdate: December 10, 1956
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Paris, France