Synopsis François Hollande was born in Rouen, France in 1954. He attended a series of elite French schools and joined the Socialist Party in 1979. First elected to the Ussel town council, he went on to win a National Assembly seat in 1988. He was made chair of the Socialist Party and announced a bid for the presidency in 2011, and beat incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy to become France's 24th president in 2012. Early Life François Gérard Georges Nicolas Hollande was born on August 12, 1954, in Rouen, France to a right-wing physician father and a progressive social worker mother. The family moved to Paris when Hollande was 13, and after graduating from the public school system, he attended the Institut de Sciences Politiques and then the École des Hautes Études Commerciales, France's top business school. He then entered the École Nationale d'Administration. Early Career Hollande demonstrated an early interest in politics and volunteered for François Mitterrand's second unsuccessful presidential campaign while he was still a student. Five years later, in 1979, he joined the Socialist Party. By then, Mitterrand had been elected on his third try and he appointed Hollande a junior economic advisor. Hollande held this post until he went to work for Max Gallo, the press secretary to former prime minister Pierre Mauroy.