Former French First Lady Danielle Mitterrand Dies

Posted November 22nd, 2011 at 9:00 am (UTC-5)
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Danielle Mitterrand, a hero of the French Resistance and widow of former French President Francois Mitterrand, has died at the age of 87.

Mitterrand died early Tuesday after being hospitalized in Paris for several days. She helped redefine the role of first lady, and was known as a humanitarian and activist for the underdog.

Mrs. Mitterrand lent her support to ethnic minorities such as Tibetans and Kurds. She was also a strong supporter of Cuba's Fidel Castro and started several charities to help the disadvantaged.

During World War II, she met her future husband as both worked for the French Resistance. She was awarded a prestigious medal for her work against the Nazi occupation of France.