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2nd Most Esteemed French Person of All Time Dies

2nd Most Esteemed French Person of All Time Dies

Feb 28th, 2007, 09:32 AM
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2nd Most Esteemed French Person of All Time Dies

When in France recently i was surprised by the death of what recent polls had said was the number two most esteemed personnage in all of French history...from Clovis to kings to Napoleon to DeGaulle to now.
And though i had heard of this person i in no way would have thought he would have copped number 2 most esteemed French person, coming in after Charles DeGaulle, the most esteemed.
I'm betting many others have either never heard of Abbe Pierre or barely so. But that's what the French news on tv said shortly after his recent death. (I hope i even have his name right.. Abbe Pierre, though i may not have got it exactly right...but the old priest who has been going around for years in Paris looking after the poorest street folks, ministering to them with help of food, health care and shelter. And for these efforts he beats out all French historical and contemporary folks save General DeGaulle.
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Feb 28th, 2007, 09:40 AM
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Very sorry to hear of it.

By the way, I always thought Gerard Depardieu was the most esteemed french citizen. Ever!
 
Feb 28th, 2007, 09:47 AM
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Pal., it was in all the papers when he died in January. Here's one obit.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/obituaries...996162,00.html
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Feb 28th, 2007, 09:48 AM
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OOPS I hope my url is not too long....sorry!
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Feb 28th, 2007, 09:56 AM
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Curious, who else was on that list?
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Feb 28th, 2007, 09:59 AM
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Abbé Pierre has been the No1 French person in popularity for many years as far as i can remember topping Costeau or other famous figures. The first thing I think of when I hear his name is he is the founder of the compagnons d’Emmaüs.
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Feb 28th, 2007, 10:01 AM
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yes, I'd heard of him. Those esteem polls are always stupid, as they skew towards current wellknown people, even if they aren't nearly as talented or gifted, etc. as thousands of dead people, let alone people who lived several thousand years ago.

He was probably esteemed because he was a priest who had affairs with women, that counts for a lot in France.

People who recently died always rate higher in those types of polls, I used to be in the polling business some. He died over a month ago.
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Feb 28th, 2007, 10:09 AM
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who else was on that list?

well the thing i heard only said that he was 2nd after DeGaulle and just ahead of Louis Pasteur and i believe Madame Curie (guess she was French at death?)

surprised that Jerry Lewis didn't beat out the good abbe, who popularity took a temporary dip a few years ago when he apparently made some ill-advised remarks on the Holocaust or some such taboo subject in France. But he rehabbed his reputation after that thru more good works.
I have been to Emmaus (Salvation Army type stores) several times in Orleans, my home base when in France. I always thought it must be some ancient order but really was the creation it seems of the good abbot.
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Feb 28th, 2007, 10:12 AM
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I would imagine the list would be limited to actual French people, but I could be wrong. If I am wrong, I wonder if Dalida was on that list?
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Feb 28th, 2007, 10:15 AM
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I would also love to see the whole list

but it was just a passing reference on a news program and only mentioned who was numero uno and who just followed him

i'm not sure they were quoting an exact list but maybe summarizing periodical polls of such things.
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Feb 28th, 2007, 10:16 AM
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The Sunday paper has a poll of the 50 favorite living French personalites every six months. Jacques Cousteau was #1 until his death, when he was replaced by Abbé Pierre. A few years ago Abbé Pierre requested not to be listed anymore as "his time had passed" and that younger people should have a chance. Since then, Zinedine Zidane has been #1.
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Feb 28th, 2007, 10:19 AM
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No, it's only selected from the French. This popularity thing is called I think literally like " 50 French personalities liked by the French " He was No.1 for 20 years or so I think and he left chart only when he asked the presse to leave him out of it to give the spot for the youth.

> He was probably esteemed because he was a priest who had affairs with women, that counts for a lot in France.

You are kidding. I don't think his popularity has anything to do with that (maybe a little but really not much). He was liked as a modern day saint, it seems to me.
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Feb 28th, 2007, 10:23 AM
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Ah, I found the most recent list. For those of you who think you know a lot about France, it is interesting to see how many names of, say, the top 20 that you recognize on the list:
1. Zinedine Zidane
2. Yannick Noah
3. Nicolas Hulot
4. Mimie Mathy
5. Michel Sardou
6. Jean Reno
7. Charles Aznavour
8. Soeur Emmanuelle
9. Jamel Debbouze
10. Michel Serrault
11. Jean-Paul Belmondo
12. Gérard Jugnot
13. Renaud
14. Patrick Bruel
15. Florent Pagny
16. Jean-Pierre Pernaut
17. Johnny Hallyday
18. Henri Salvador
19. Thierry Lhermitte
20. David Douillet

Full list here: http://www.lejournaldudimanche.fr/sondages/top50.php



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Feb 28th, 2007, 10:31 AM
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I don't know :
8. Soeur Emmanuelle
15. Florent Pagny
16. Jean-Pierre Pernaut
Perhaps that's not very good for some one who lives in Geneva, next to France.
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Feb 28th, 2007, 10:38 AM
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There are only 5 on the list that i've ever heard of!
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Feb 28th, 2007, 10:41 AM
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Thanks Kerouac. I'm surprised how many singers on the list.
Michel Serrault was so wonderful in "Nellie and Mönsieur Arnaud."
A little gem of a film
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Feb 28th, 2007, 10:46 AM
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Hi K,

>Ah, I found the most recent list.

Judging from that list, the level of American culture and French culture is much closer than I expected.

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Feb 28th, 2007, 10:55 AM
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I had not heard of Abbe Pierre until I watched reports of his death on TV 5. I think that I did see a billboard in Paris last December that displayed a huge picture of Zidane, citing him as the #1 most admired person in France. All the more incredible, as I mentioned in my trip report at the time, that my family and I ended up meeting him by chance on that same vacation and getting his autograph! I never run into famous people in my routine, little world!
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Feb 28th, 2007, 10:56 AM
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Shame on the French: too few women in the list!
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Feb 28th, 2007, 11:00 AM
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I noticed the same thing when I was copying the list....
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