Former French president Valery Giscard d’Estaing, who led his country into a new modern era and onto a firmly pro-European path, died late Wednesday of Covid-19, his family said.
Giscard, who had been in hospital several times in the last months for heart problems, died “surrounded by his family” at the family home in the Loire region.
Valéry Giscard d’Estaing, the president of France from 1974 to 1981 who became a champion of European integration, died on Wednesday. He was 94.
Giscard d’Estaing’s office said he passed away in his family home in the Loir-et-Cher region, in central France, after contracting COVID-19.
“In accordance with his wishes, his funeral will take place in strict privacy,” his office said.
Giscard d’Estaing was hospitalized last month with heart problems, but remained vigorous deep into old age.
Born in 1926, he served in the Free French army that helped liberate the country during the Second World War and Charles de Gaulle later made him finance minister at 36.
His years in power ended when he was defeated by socialist Francois Mitterrand in 1981.