Pierre Laval

Jun 28, 1883 - Oct 15, 1945

Pierre Jean Marie Laval was a French politician. During the time of the Third Republic, he served as Prime Minister of France from 27 January 1931 to 20 February 1932, and a second time from 7 June 1935 to 24 January 1936.
A socialist early in his life, Laval became a lawyer in 1909 and was famous for his defense of strikers, trade unionists and leftists against government prosecution. In 1914, he was elected to the Chamber of Deputies as a member of the Socialist Party, and remained committed to his pacifist convictions during the First World War. Following his defeat in the 1919 election, Laval left the Socialist Party and became mayor of Aubervilliers. In 1924 he returned to the Chamber as an independent, and was elected to the Senate three years later. He also held a series of governmental positions, including Minister of Public Works, Minister of Justice and Minister of Labour. In 1931, Laval became Prime Minister of France, but his government fell only a year later.
Laval joined the right-wing government of Gaston Doumergue in 1934, serving as Minister of the Colonies and then Foreign Minister. In 1935, he again became Prime Minister.
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