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Nicolas Sarkozy

Date of Birth: Friday, January 28, 1955
AGE: 63
Occupation: Politician

Biography: The 23rd and current President of the French Republic and ex officio Co-Prince of Andorra. He assumed the office on 16 May 2007 after defeating the Socialist Party candidate Segolene Royal 10 days earlier.

Before his presidency, he was leader of the Union for a Popular Movement (UMP). Under Jacques Chirac?s presidency he served as Minister of the Interior in Jean-Pierre Raffarin?s (UMP) first two governments (from May 2002 to March 2004), then was appointed Minister of Finances in Raffarin?s last government (March 2004 to May 2005) and again Minister of the Interior in Dominique de Villepin?s government (2005?2007).

Sarkozy was also president of the General council of the Hauts-de-Seine department from 2004 to 2007 and mayor of Neuilly-sur-Seine, one of the wealthiest communes of France from 1983 to 2002. He was Minister of the Budget in the government of Edouard Balladur (RPR, predecessor of the UMP) during Francois Mitterrand?s last term.

Sarkozy is known for wanting to revitalize the French economy. In foreign affairs he has promised a strengthening of the entente cordiale with the United Kingdom and closer cooperation with the United States. He married singer-songwriter Carla Bruni on 2 February 2008 at the Elysee Palace in Paris.

Sarkozy is a Frenchman of mixed national and ethnic ancestry. He is the son of Pal Istvan Erno Sarkozy de Nagy-Bocsa (a Hungarian aristocrat), and Andrée Jeanne "Dadu" Mallah, who is of French Catholic and Greek Jewish origin. They divorced in 1959.

During Sarkozy?s childhood, his father allegedly refused to give his wife?s family any financial help, even though he had founded his own advertising agency and had become wealthy. The family lived in a small mansion owned by Sarkozy?s grandfather, Benedict Mallah, in the 17th Arrondissement of Paris. The family later moved to Neuilly-sur-Seine, one of the wealthiest communes of the Ile-de-France region immediately west of the 17th Arrondissement just outside of Paris. According to Sarkozy, his staunchly Gaullist grandfather was more of an influence on him than his father, whom he rarely saw. Sarkozy was, accordingly, raised Catholic.

Sarkozy said that being abandoned by his father shaped much of who he is today. He also has said that, in his early years, he felt inferior in relation to his wealthier and taller classmates. "What made me who I am now is the sum of all the humiliations suffered during childhood", he said later.

Sarkozy was enrolled in the Lycee Chaptal, a well regarded public middle and high school in Paris?s 8th arrondissement, where he failed his sixieme. His family then sent him to the Cours Saint-Louis de Monceau, a private Catholic school in the 17th arrondissement, where he was reportedly a mediocre student, but where he nonetheless obtained his baccalaureat in 1973. He enrolled at the Université Paris X Nanterre, where he graduated with an MA in Private law, and later with a DEA degree in Business law.

He completed his military service as a part time Air Force cleaner. After graduating, he entered the Institut d?Etudes Politiques de Paris, better known as Sciences Po, (1979?1981) but failed to graduate due to an insufficient command of the English language. After passing the bar, he became a lawyer specializing in business and family law, and was one of Silvio Berlusconi?s top French advocates.

As mayor of Neuilly-sur-Seine, Sarkozy met former fashion model and public relations executive Cecilia Ciganer-Albeniz, when he officiated at her wedding to television host Jacques Martin. In 1988, she left her husband for Sarkozy, and divorced Martin one year later. Sarkozy married her in October 1996, with witnesses Martin Bouygues and Bernard Arnault They have one son, Louis, born 23 April 1997.

Between 2002 and 2005, the couple often appeared together on public occasions, with Cecilia Sarkozy acting as the chief aide for her husband. On 25 May 2005, however, the Swiss newspaper Le Matin revealed that she had left Sarkozy for French-Moroccan national Richard Attias, head of Publicis in New York.

Sarkozy and Cecilia ultimately divorced on 15 October 2007, soon after his election as President.

Less than a month after separating from Cecilia, Sarkozy met Italian-born singer Carla Bruni at a dinner party, and soon entered a relationship with her. They married on 2 February 2008 at the Elysee Palace in Paris.

On 17 May 2011 it was announced that Sarkozy and Carla Bruni were expecting their first child. Carla gave birth to baby girl at a Paris clinic on 19 October 2011. The couple will not be releasing any photographs of their daughter, Carla has previously said that ?exposure to public life is an adult choice.?

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