Jean-François Deniau was born in Paris, on October 31st 1928. Graduated in Literature and Political Sciences, he became a senior official of the French administration and had a very early interest in European affairs. In 1955, he took an active part in the negotiations founding the European Union and wrote the preamble to the Rome Treaty.
For 10 years, Jean-François Deniau assumed high political duties, such as Minister (six times), French Ambassador in Spain, M.P. and Conseil Général President.
From 1982, he is devoting himself to the fight for human rights and for people victims of dictatorship or foreign occupation (Eritrea, Cambodia, Afghanistan…) and to the release of hostages and political prisoners (South Africa, Spain, Lebanon, Sarajevo…).
However, he never forgets his two main passions : writing, which brought him in 1990 the Prix Paul-Morand of the Académie Française, and sailing.
In 1992, he became member of the Académie Française and of the Académie de Marine, instead of Eric Tabarly. After a triple heart bypass operation, he sailed across the Atlantic Ocean.