Famous French Activists

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 1 
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.

 2 
Marlene Schiappa
(Politician)
Marlene Schiappa
2
Birthdate: November 18, 1982
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Paris, France
 3 
Alexandra Cousteau
(Filmmaker)
Alexandra Cousteau
2
Birthdate: March 21, 1976
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Los Angeles County, California, United States
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 4 
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.

 5 
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.

 6 
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.

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 7 
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.

 8 
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.

 9 
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.

 10 
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.

 11 
Monique Wittig
(Novelist)
Monique Wittig
2
Birthdate: July 13, 1935
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Dannemarie, France
Died: January 3, 2003
 12 
Line Renaud
(Singer)
Line Renaud
2
Birthdate: July 2, 1928
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Nieppe, France
 13 
Daniel Defert
(French Sociologist and HIV/Aids Activist)
Daniel Defert
0
Birthdate: September 10, 1937
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Avallon, France
Died: February 7, 2023

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.

 14 
Danielle Mitterrand
(François Mitterrand's wife)
Danielle Mitterrand
2
Birthdate: October 29, 1924
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Verdun, Meuse, France
Died: November 22, 2011
 15 
Ouida
(Novelist)
Ouida
2
Birthdate: January 1, 1839
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Bury Saint Edmunds, England
Died: January 25, 1908
 16 
Inessa Armand
(Politician)
Inessa Armand
2
Birthdate: May 8, 1874
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: September 24, 1920
 17 
Yann Arthus-Bertrand
(French Environmentalist, Activist, Journalist and Photographer)
Yann Arthus-Bertrand
2
Birthdate: March 13, 1946
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Paris, France

Yann Arthus-Bertrand is a photographer, journalist, activist, and environmentalist. He is well known for directing films that portray the impact of humans on Earth. Over the years, his environmental work and activism have earned him prestigious awards, such as the 2010 National Outdoor Book Award for his popular book, Our Living Earth.

 18 
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.

 19 
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
 20 
Gisèle Halimi
(Lawyer)
Gisèle Halimi
2
Birthdate: July 27, 1927
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: La Goulette, Tunisia
Died: July 28, 2020
 21 
Annie Belle
(Actress)
Annie Belle
2
Birthdate: December 10, 1956
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Paris, France
 22 
Sylvain Tesson
(Writer)
Sylvain Tesson
2
Birthdate: April 26, 1972
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Paris, France
 23 
Margaret of Valois-Angouleme
(Author)
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.

 24 
Christophe Jaffrelot
(Political scientist)
Christophe Jaffrelot
2
Birthdate: February 12, 1964
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Poissy, France
 25 
Frederique Bel
(Model)
Frederique Bel
2
Birthdate: March 24, 1975
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Annecy, France
Height: 5'9" (175 cm)
 26 
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. 

 27 
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.

 28 
Marie Souvestre
(Educator)
Marie Souvestre
2
Birthdate: May 28, 1830
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Brest, France
Died: March 30, 1905
 29 
Pauline Harmange
(Feminist writer and a self-declared misandrist)
Pauline Harmange
2
Birthdate: December 6, 1994
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: France
 30 
Flora Tristan
(Writer)
Flora Tristan
2
Birthdate: April 7, 1803
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Bordeaux, France
Died: November 14, 1844
 31 
Paul Rassinier
(Author)
Paul Rassinier
2
Birthdate: March 18, 1906
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Bermont, France
Died: July 28, 1967
 32 
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
 33 
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.

 34 
Theroigne de Mericourt
(Singer)
Theroigne de Mericourt
2
Birthdate: August 13, 1762
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Marcourt, Rendeux, Belgium
Died: June 9, 1817
 35 
Thierry Meyssan
(French Journalist, Left-Wing Conspiracy Theorist and Political Activist)
Thierry Meyssan
2
Birthdate: May 18, 1957
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Talence, Gironde, France
 36 
Priscillia Ludosky
(One of the founders of the yellow vest movement)
Priscillia Ludosky
0
Birthdate: November 4, 1985
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Unknown
 37 
Jacline Mouraud
(Politician)
Jacline Mouraud
2
Birthdate: April 24, 1967
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Guérande, France
 38 
Marie de Rohan
(Courtier)
Marie de Rohan
2
Birthdate: 1600
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: August 12, 1679
 39 
Pierre Rabhi
(Writer)
Pierre Rabhi
2
Birthdate: May 29, 1938
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Kénadsa, Algeria
 40 
Germaine Dulac
(Filmmaker, Critic, Film Theorist, and Journalist)
Germaine Dulac
2
Birthdate: November 17, 1882
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Amiens, Somme, Picardy, France
Died: July 20, 1942

Germaine Dulac was a French filmmaker, critic, film theorist, and journalist. She is remembered for her 1923 impressionist silent film La Souriante Madame Beudet and her 1928 experimental film The Seashell and the Clergyman. Germaine Dulac's contributions to the French film industry were recognized in 1929, when she was presented the Legion of Honor.

 41 
Lucien Sève
(Philosopher)
Lucien Sève
2
Birthdate: December 9, 1926
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Chambéry, France
Died: March 23, 2020
 42 
Claude Lefort
(Philosopher)
Claude Lefort
2
Birthdate: April 21, 1924
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: October 3, 2010
 43 
Jean-Baptiste Henri-Dominique Lacordaire
(Journalist)
Jean-Baptiste Henri-Dominique Lacordaire
1
Birthdate: May 12, 1802
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: France
Died: November 21, 1861
 44 
Fabre d'Églantine
(Actor)
Fabre d'Églantine
1
Birthdate: July 28, 1750
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Carcassonne, France
Died: April 5, 1794
 45 
Rokhaya Diallo
(Journalist)
Rokhaya Diallo
1
Birthdate: April 10, 1978
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Paris, France

Rokhaya Diallo is a French journalist, filmmaker, and author. Best known as an activist, Diallo works towards achieving gender, racial, and religious equality. Diallo is widely regarded as one of the most important anti-racism activists in France. In 2013, Rokhaya Diallo was named in the 100 most influential French women list published by Slate.

 46 
Marie-Claude Vaillant-Couturier
(Politician)
Marie-Claude Vaillant-Couturier
1
Birthdate: November 3, 1912
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: December 11, 1996
 47 
Assa Traore
(Activist)
Assa Traore
2
Birthdate: 1985
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Paris, France
 48 
Philippe Soupault
(French writer)
Philippe Soupault
1
Birthdate: August 2, 1897
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Chaville, France
Died: March 12, 1990
 49 
Pierre Victurnien Vergniaud
(Lawyer)
Pierre Victurnien Vergniaud
2
Birthdate: May 31, 1753
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Limoges, France
Died: October 31, 1793
 50 
Sœur Emmanuelle
(French Nun Known for Her Involvement in Working for the Plight of the Poor in Turkey and Egypt)
Sœur Emmanuelle
1
Birthdate: November 16, 1908
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Brussels, Belgium
Died: October 20, 2008

Sister Emmanuelle was a human rights worker and Catholic Religious Sister. She is best remembered for her work that aimed at helping the poor in Egypt and Turkey. Emmanuelle, who was born to a French father and a Belgian mother, was granted Egyptian citizenship in 1991 for her work in Egypt. She was also renowned for her unorthodox religious views.