In the archives of Match

When Jacques Chirac posed for the first time in front of a Match photographer, in April 1967, it was in a car garage. The future President of the Republic is leaning over the engine of his Peugeot 403, portable car in one hand, pipe wrench in the other, and a cigarette in his mouth. The photo, signed Patrice Habans, is published in number 941, dated April 22, 1967, in a subject presenting the “new Wednesdays”: “At the Council of Ministers on Wednesday, four new people around the oval table of the Elysée . Henri Duvillard, 57 years old, Olivier Guichard, 47 years old, Yves Guena, 45 years old and Jacques Chirac, 35 years old.

Accompanying the photo, this simple caption: “The new ministers: Jacques Chirac, the youngest of the four, went directly from the Prime Minister’s Office to the Secretary of State for Employment. Corrézien, he had achieved the feat of conquering a hard fought seat as a deputy in his native country. On board his old inflated 403 which goes up to 180, twice a week, he travels 1,000 km to reach his department”.

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But this first meeting, this first portrait, is not, in reality, his very first appearance in our columns. Three months earlier, our reporters had come across the candidate for the legislative elections campaigning in Corrèze. Jacques Chirac is mentioned in a long report devoted to the “young wolves” of Pompidou, launched on the assault of the Massif central for the elections of April 1967.

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The article briefly mentions his meeting with voters, at the café de la Place, in Ligignac. With his airs of “great clerk of the State”, in his dark suit and his gray-blue overcoat, he is greeted with: “Boudiou!… how beautiful our candidate is!” … Jacques Chirac will leave having amazed his listeners, one of whom will have this clairvoyant comment: “How do you want to oppose a candidate who speaks so well?”

Here is the first appearance of Jacques Chirac in a Match report, published in 1967…

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Discover Retro Match, news through the archives of Match…

Paris Match n°929, January 28, 1959

Pompidou launches his young wolves to attack the Massif Central

Report Gérard Periot / Noelle Namia – Investigation Monique Valls / Florence Portes

From Limoges to Ussel, from Creuse to Corrèze, the Auvergnat Georges Pompidou launched a major offensive in the name of the Fifth Republic against the old bastions of radicalism and socialism. The attackers are new men, originating from this region, almost all of whom have graduated from the Grandes Ecoles, and mainly from the ENA (National School of Administration). In these countries of the Massif Central where legend still tells of the exploits of the beast of Gévaudan, we found a name for them: the young wolves. The offensive comes up against solid resistance: François Mitterrand himself has come into the breach at Tulle and Brive. He launched his friend Roland Dumas and his brother Robert Mitterrand into the counterattack. Who are these young wolves? What is their face? These are the questions our reporters are answering today.

“Council of War: Dannaud, Charbonnel, Chirac, Mazeaud, Binet.” – Paris Match n°929, January 28, 1959

© Jean-Pierre Biot / Paris Match


On the icy roads of Haute Corrèze, in the freezing January night, a red Austin drives at high speed towards the village of Ligignac. A vague smile animates the angled face of the passenger and gives the dark, deep-set eyes an unusual cheerfulness. Jacques Chirac, thirty-four years old, youngest of the young wolves is at the heart of his electoral tour.

Since July, he moved to Ussel, the capital of his constituency, he has visited the 118 mayors. Beside him, a black briefcase contains two folders. The first brings together the wishes of his electors, the second a statement of the services he has rendered. Two hundred HLMs set up in six months; development of the Ussel level crossing, installation projects for a hotel chain, etc.

Little Austin enters Ligignac and stops in front of the Café de la Place. Chirac lowers his head to go through the door. With his half-open gray-blue overcoat, his dark suit, he looks like a great civil servant.

– Boudiou!… how handsome our candidate is!

In the back room where a mirus snores, about thirty peasants in boots or in clogs who have kept their Canadian boots.

– I promise you nothing, said Chirac immediately. And he draws a picture of the goods and possibilities of the region.

– I promise you nothing, he repeats, but I will try. Who tries nothing has nothing.

The mayor, Mr. Sudour, scratches his head.

– We’ll see if you keep all these beautiful promises.

– When will you have a public and contradictory debate questions Valade, the deputy mayor, a lumberjack in a Sunday suit.

It’s a waste of time, says Chirac. We respond to an assembly of brawlers who are only arguing among themselves.

At 10:30 p.m., the youngest of the wolves leaves. On the tables the glasses of rosé and Pernod are still full. A listener summarizes the situation:

– How do you make the opposition against a candidate who speaks so well?


“The young wolves”, the shock team of the “Comité Fifth Republic”, are campaigning in the Massif Central for the Legislative elections of March 1967. Here, Jean Charbonnel, Jacques Chirac and Claude Binet, on January 18, 1967 in Auvergne.

“The young wolves”, the shock team of the “Comité Fifth Republic”, are campaigning in the Massif Central for the Legislative elections of March 1967. Here, Jean Charbonnel, Jacques Chirac and Claude Binet, on January 18, 1967 in Auvergne.

© Jean-Pierre Biot / Paris Match

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