- The Washington Times - Monday, May 1, 2006

PARIS (AP) — Jean-Francois Revel, a philosopher, eclectic writer and a journalist whose commentaries on the state of France and the world were a mainstay of French media, died April 30 at a hospital south of Paris, his wife said. He was 82.

President Jacques Chirac hailed Mr. Revel as a “demanding and vigilant guardian of democracy.”

“He taught us never to take it for granted,” Mr. Chirac said.

He became known in later years for his conservative position and pro-American stance as editor-in-chief of the newsweekly L’Express and commentator at that magazine and later at rival Le Point.

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

Born in Marseille, Mr. Revel earned a degree in philosophy, then taught French in several high schools, including in Mexico and Florence, Italy. He got a late start in his literary career. Starting in 1960, he was employed at three publishing houses, until 1978. In all, he wrote about 30 books with subjects ranging from poetry to gastronomy to politics.

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

Survivors include his wife, Claude Sarraute.

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