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French Thinker, Journalist Jean-Francois Revel, 82

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Associated Press
Wednesday, May 3, 2006

Jean-Francois Revel, 82, a philosopher, eclectic writer and journalist whose commentaries on the state of France and the world were for years a mainstay of the French media, died April 30 at Kremlin-Bicetre Hospital just south of Paris. No cause of death was reported.

Mr. Revel, a member of the prestigious Académie Francaise, wrote about 30 books whose subjects ranged from poetry to gastronomy to politics. He became known in later years for his conservative position and pro-American stance as editor in chief and commentator at the newsweekly L'Express and as a commentator at rival Le Point.

One of his most recent books, published in 2002, was titled " L'Obsession Anti-Am é ricaine: Son Fonctionnement, Ses Causes, Ses Inconsequences " ("The Anti-American Obsession: Its Functioning, Its Causes, Its Inconsequentialness").

Among other books in his assorted collection of works is " Le Moine Et Le Philosophe " ("The Monk and The Philosopher"), published in 1997 in collaboration with his son Matthieu Ricard, a Buddhist monk who is close to the Dalai Lama.

Mr. Revel, who was known as a bon vivant with gourmet tastes, was appointed in 1997 as one of the 40 so-called immortals of the Académie Francaise, a watchdog of the French language.

Born in Marseille on Jan. 19, 1924, his surname was Ricard until he had it legally changed.

Mr. Revel obtained a degree in philosophy and then taught French in several high schools, including in Mexico and Florence, Italy. Although a prolific writer, he got a late start in his literary career. From 1960 to 1978, he was employed at three publishing houses.

He joined L'Express in 1966, staying there until 1981. He then became a commentator at Le Point and several radio stations.

His marriage to painter Yahne le Toumelin ended in divorce.

Survivors include his wife, journalist Claude Sarraute; two children from his first marriage; and a son from his second marriage.


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