Jean-Marie Le Pen

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Jean-Marie Le Pen (French pronunciation: [ʒɑ̃ maʁi ləpɛn]; born 20 June 1928) is a French conservative and nationalist politician who is founder and president of the Front National (National Front) party. Le Pen has run for the French presidency five times, including in 2002, when in a surprise upset he came second, polling more votes in the first round than the main left candidate, Lionel Jospin. Le Pen lost in the second round to Jacques Chirac. Le Pen again ran in the 2007 French presidential election and finished fourth. His 2007 campaign, at the age of 78 years and 9 months, makes him the oldest candidate for presidential office in France.

Le Pen focuses on immigration to France, the European Union, traditional culture, law and order and France's high rate of unemployment. He advocates immigration restrictions, the death penalty, raising incentives for homemakers,[1] and euroscepticism. He strongly opposes same-sex marriage, euthanasia, and abortion.


Personal life and early career

Le Pen was born in La Trinité-sur-Mer, a small seaside village in Brittany, the son of a fisherman but then orphaned as an adolescent (pupille de la nation, brought up by the state), when his father's boat was blown up by a mine in 1942. He was raised as a Roman Catholic and studied at the Jesuit high school François Xavier in Vannes, then at the lycée of Lorient.

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