Paris (AFP)

Journalist Jean Mauriac, son of writer François Mauriac, who spent his entire career at AFP where he followed General de Gaulle for more than a quarter of a century, died Monday in Paris at the age of 96. , his son Laurent Mauriac told AFP.

Born in Paris on August 15, 1924, Jean Mauriac was a law student at the Liberation of Paris. He then joined the Agence France-Presse, which had just been founded by resistant journalists, to be immediately accredited to rue Saint-Dominique where the man of June 18 settled.

It was the beginning of a mission that would last 26 years: he followed General de Gaulle during his first government and, from 1947, in the political adventure of the RPF (Rassemblement du peuple français). His brother, Claude Mauriac, who died in 1996, was de Gaulle's private secretary from 1944 to 1948.

While covering the international conferences of the post-war period, the questions of the Maghreb and decolonization, Jean Mauriac is the only journalist to accompany de Gaulle, then in full crossing of the desert, in his long tour of the world in 1956.

He followed him to the Elysee Palace, until his departure in 1969. On November 9, 1970, it was he who gave, before anyone else, the "flash" announcing the death of the former president.

In 1974, new scoop, he reveals on the sons of AFP the circumstances of the death of Georges Pompidou thanks to the testimonies of ministers present during the last councils chaired by a man then in agony.

Then deputy editor-in-chief of the agency, he retired from work in 1988.

Member of the Charles-de-Gaulle Institute, this father of two children, thin and of medium height, lively and courteous, wearing glasses, had published several books on Charles de Gaulle.

He had confided in the relationship he had forged with this extraordinary character, full of confidence but without familiarity or complicity. "I was for him the son of a writer whom he loved and admired. Nothing more. And that was already a lot," he said.

He had also told of his admiration for his father's political commitments, despite his cold and distant character.

The former Gaullist minister Alain Peyrefitte had said, maliciously, "that he was, of the three Mauriacs, the most read", his thousands of dispatches on the general being picked up by newspapers around the world.

© 2020 AFP