Who is he?:
The president of France, sworn in on May 15, 2012, after defeating President Nicolas Sarkozy's quest for a second term. The second Socialist after Francois Mitterand to be elected president in the Fifth Republic. A career politician who took the helm of his country at a critical time for the European Union and the financial health of its member states.
Aug. 12, 1954 in Rouen, France, the son of a doctor and a social worker. He spent time in the United States during college in 1974.
Hollande met his longtime domestic partner, Segolene Royal, when the two were young political activists in school. They were together from 1978 to 2007, and had four children together: Thomas, Clemence, Julien and Flora. Before he and Royal split up, Hollande began seeing Valerie Trierweiler, a reporter for the magazine Paris Match and twice-divorced mother of three who also left her husband after falling for Hollande. Hollande has called her the "love of my life," and she shunned the spotlight during the campaign. They are the first unmarried couple to be the first couple of France.
The Socialist Party, one of two major political parties in France. Hollande was first secretary of the party from 1997 to 2008, succeeding Lionel Jospin in the post. Hollande joined the Socialist Party in 1979 after being a student volunteer for Mitterand in 1974.
A career politician, Hollande first ran for the National Assembly in 1981 -- against another man who would become president of France, Jacques Chirac. Hollande lost that race but would be appointed as an adviser to Mitterand, who had just been elected president. He won election to the National Assembly in 1988 but lost his re-election bid in 1993; he returned to the Assembly in 1997 elections. In 2001, he became mayor of Tulle for seven years. His longtime domestic partner Royal was chosen to run as the Socialist Party candidate over Hollande in 2007; she would lose the race to Sarkozy. Hollande resigned as first secretary of the party and was elected president of the General Council of Correze. In his quest for the presidency again, he trailed behind former IMF director Dominique Strauss-Kahn, whose candidacy was derailed by his May 2011 arrest on suspicion of sexual assault.
The leader who has traditionally been France's main partner in Europe refused to meet with Hollande during the campaign -- German Chancellor Angela Merkel publicly backed Sarkozy. He quickly flew to Germany after his inauguration to meet with his counterpart -- and his plane was hit by lightning on his first attempt. But whether or not they personally get along pales in comparison to the challenge that European countries face in getting back on sound economic footing. Here, he and Merkel part ways, as he has declared he will oppose the austerity measures she proposed as a team with Sarkozy. Hollande's platform includes a 75 percent tax rate for people earning more than 1 million euros per year, limiting executive pay to 20 times the average wage and cutting the president's salary, restoring the right to retire at 60, creating a ministry of women's rights and allocating of half the ministerial posts in his cabinet to women, allowing gay marriage and adoption for gay couples, and stopping banks operating in offshore tax havens. Hollande has vowed to balance France's finances by 2017, but by investment spending rather than deep austerity measures.
"I will define the priorities. But I won't decide on everything for everyone and everywhere." -- Hollande's inauguration speech, May 15, 2012