Léopold Sédar Senghor - Senegalese Politician, Family and Family

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Léopold Sédar Senghor's Personal Details

Leopold Sedar Senghor became the first President of the Republic of Senegal after his nation gained independence from the colonial regime

InformationDetail
BirthdayOctober 9, 1906
Died onDecember 20, 2001
NationalitySenegalese
FamousSenegalese Politician, Leaders, Political Leaders, Writers
Known asLeopold Sedar Senghor, Léopold Sédar Senghor, Leopold S Senghor
Universities
  • Lycée Louis-le-Grand
  • École Normale Supérieure
  • Sorbonne
  • University of Paris
Founder / Co-Founder
  • Senegalese Democratic Bloc
  • Socialist Party of Senegal
Birth PlaceJoal-Fadiouth
Political IdeologySocialist Party of Senegal
ReligionCatholicism
GenderMale
Sun SignLibra
Born inJoal-Fadiouth
Famous asSenegalese Politician
Died at Age95

// Famous Senegalese Politician

Léopold Sédar Senghor's photo

Who is Léopold Sédar Senghor?

Leopold Sedar Senghor was the first President of the Republic of Senegal. Born in a crowded household of a wealthy and well-connected family, Leopold had to jostle for position. At a young age, he was packed off to a prestigious boarding school. Attracted to religion since an early age, he began devoting his attention to reading and writing French poetry and literature. After completing high school, he relocated to France. After many crushing setbacks, he finished his secondary education and began professorship simultaneously at two top-ranked schools. Senghor's career was interrupted when a foreign power invaded his adopted homeland. He began to develop a cultural identity and stronger positive interpretations of the value of his continent's social contributions. Senghor then tried his hand at politics, swiftly rising to a position of power. When his country transitioned into independence, Senghor was elected president. While using a heavy hand against his rivals, he utilized his education and willpower to modernize his country. After decades in office, this eminent politician resigned and devoted his remaining years to an illustrious career in literature. Dying peacefully in his bed at an advanced age, he was respected and admired throughout the French literary world for his contributions to the fine arts and hailed in his homeland for the leadership he bestowed on his people.

// Famous Leaders

Childhood & Early Life

Leopold Sedar Senghor was born on October 9, 1906 in Joal, French West Africa. His father was Basile Diogoye Senghor, a businessman and a member of the elite Serer tribe. His mother, Gnilane Ndieme Bakhou was the third wife of Leopold's father. He grew up in a large household.

In 1913, Leopold enrolled in a boarding school run by an organization known as 'Fathers of the Holy Spirit'. After high school graduation, he briefly entered a seminary in Dakar. He switched to a secular university and began to intensely study French literature and mathematics.

In 1928, Senghor boarded a vessel and sailed to France. He then enrolled at the Sorbonne in Paris.

Shortly thereafter, he dropped out of school. He then began taking a preparatory course in order to be invited to enroll in an elite school. However, he failed the entrance exam.

In 1932, he successfully obtained French citizenship.

Career

In 1935, he graduated from the ‘University of Paris’. He was then hired as a professor. He taught continuously at two schools, one in Paris and one in Tours, for the next 10 years.

It was during this time that Senghor developed the concept of 'negritude', his most enduring contribution to history. Negritude was a frame of mind wherein racial slurs were transubstantiated into a celebration of African culture and identity.

In 1940, while fighting in a war during the German invasion of France, he was taken prisoner. The Germans transferred him to a special prisoner of war camp in Poitiers designed to hold soldiers of color.

In 1942, he was released by the Nazis. He immediately resumed his teaching responsibilities as a professor at an elite school near Paris. He also continued to support the resistance.

In 1945, he was promoted to Dean of the Linguistics Department of a prestigious French school. He would hold this position for the next 15 years.

In 1948, he founded the ‘Bloc democratique senegalais’ (BDS), a political party. It quickly rose to prominence.

In 1951, the BDS did well in the elections. He was elected as a special deputy of the French parliament, a post he held for the next five years.

From 1956-1961 he held many posts of importance in the administration of Prime Minister Michel Debre. Senghor served as the mayor of Thies and was also associated with the committee responsible for drafting the constitution of the Fifth Republic (France) during this time.

On September 5, 1960, Leopold was elected as the first President of the newly-independent Republic of Senegal. This political leader then wrote the Senegalese national anthem, still in use today.

In 1962, the President arrested Mamadou Dia, his one-time ally and the then prime minister, and charged him with fomenting a revolution. Dia would spend the next 12 years in jail.

In 1964, Senghor published his first book, 'Liberte'. The volume which contains a collection of speeches, commentary and essays was the first in a series of five books.

On March 22, 1967, he was nearly assassinated after delivering a sermon. He was lucky to escape with his life.

In December 1980, he announced that he was resigning the presidency, effective at the end of the year. This was despite the fact that he had not reached the end of his term in office.

On June 2, 1983, he was elected as a member of the French Academy, the first person of African origin to be inducted. This was a source of pride for people in his homeland.

In 1993, Senghor published the fifth volume of his 'Liberte' series. It was widely appreciated.

Major Works

Leopold Sedar Senghor was the President of Senegal from September 6, 1960 to December 31, 1980. During his presidency, he instituted many socially progressive policies in an attempt to modernize his country. He also worked with neighboring countries to instill a sense of 'negritude', or pride in being African

Awards & Achievements

Senghor received two war medals, 37 honorary doctorates, a commemorative medal, ‘Collar of the Order of Isabella the Catholic’ of Spain and a host of other sundry awards and honors during his lifetime.

Personal Life & Legacy

This eminent politician married Ginette Eboue in 1946. He then took a second wife, Colette Hubert Senghor, in 1957. He fathered numerous children and was a devout Roman Catholic throughout his life.

On December 20, 2001, Senghor passed away of natural causes in Verson, France.

Senghor is widely hailed for his prominent contributions to French and Senegalese literature and poetry. He also played an influential role in post-colonial consciousness with his negritude ideology.

The airport in Dakar, capital of Senegal, is named after this famous politician. A street in Paris, France is also named after him.

Trivia

Senghor's "middle name" Sedar means "a person impossible to humiliate". Senghor's family name also has a deeply spiritual meaning.

Rumor has it that Senghor abruptly resigned his presidency based on an unfavorable horoscope reading.

// Famous Writers

Léopold Sédar Senghor awards

YearNameAward

Other

Peace Prize of the German Book Trade - 1968
Jawaharlal Nehru Award for International Understanding - 1982

Léopold Sédar Senghor biography timelines

  • // 9th Oct 1906
    Leopold Sedar Senghor was born on October 9, 1906 in Joal, French West Africa. His father was Basile Diogoye Senghor, a businessman and a member of the elite Serer tribe. His mother, Gnilane Ndieme Bakhou was the third wife of Leopold's father. He grew up in a large household.
  • // 1913
    In 1913, Leopold enrolled in a boarding school run by an organization known as 'Fathers of the Holy Spirit'. After high school graduation, he briefly entered a seminary in Dakar. He switched to a secular university and began to intensely study French literature and mathematics.
  • // 1928
    In 1928, Senghor boarded a vessel and sailed to France. He then enrolled at the Sorbonne in Paris.
  • // 1932
    In 1932, he successfully obtained French citizenship.
  • // 1935
    In 1935, he graduated from the ‘University of Paris’. He was then hired as a professor. He taught continuously at two schools, one in Paris and one in Tours, for the next 10 years.
  • // 1940
    In 1940, while fighting in a war during the German invasion of France, he was taken prisoner. The Germans transferred him to a special prisoner of war camp in Poitiers designed to hold soldiers of color.
  • // 1942
    In 1942, he was released by the Nazis. He immediately resumed his teaching responsibilities as a professor at an elite school near Paris. He also continued to support the resistance.
  • // 1945
    In 1945, he was promoted to Dean of the Linguistics Department of a prestigious French school. He would hold this position for the next 15 years.
  • // 1946 To 1957
    This eminent politician married Ginette Eboue in 1946. He then took a second wife, Colette Hubert Senghor, in 1957. He fathered numerous children and was a devout Roman Catholic throughout his life.
  • // 1948
    In 1948, he founded the ‘Bloc democratique senegalais’ (BDS), a political party. It quickly rose to prominence.
  • // 1951
    In 1951, the BDS did well in the elections. He was elected as a special deputy of the French parliament, a post he held for the next five years.
  • // 1956 To 1961
    From 1956-1961 he held many posts of importance in the administration of Prime Minister Michel Debre. Senghor served as the mayor of Thies and was also associated with the committee responsible for drafting the constitution of the Fifth Republic (France) during this time.
  • // 5th Sep 1960
    On September 5, 1960, Leopold was elected as the first President of the newly-independent Republic of Senegal. This political leader then wrote the Senegalese national anthem, still in use today.
  • // 6th Sep 1960 To 31st Dec 1980
    Leopold Sedar Senghor was the President of Senegal from September 6, 1960 to December 31, 1980. During his presidency, he instituted many socially progressive policies in an attempt to modernize his country. He also worked with neighboring countries to instill a sense of 'negritude', or pride in being African
  • // 1962
    In 1962, the President arrested Mamadou Dia, his one-time ally and the then prime minister, and charged him with fomenting a revolution. Dia would spend the next 12 years in jail.
  • // 1964
    In 1964, Senghor published his first book, 'Liberte'. The volume which contains a collection of speeches, commentary and essays was the first in a series of five books.
  • // 22nd Mar 1967
    On March 22, 1967, he was nearly assassinated after delivering a sermon. He was lucky to escape with his life.
  • // Dec 1980
    In December 1980, he announced that he was resigning the presidency, effective at the end of the year. This was despite the fact that he had not reached the end of his term in office.
  • // 2nd Jun 1983
    On June 2, 1983, he was elected as a member of the French Academy, the first person of African origin to be inducted. This was a source of pride for people in his homeland.
  • // 1993
    In 1993, Senghor published the fifth volume of his 'Liberte' series. It was widely appreciated.
  • // 20th Dec 2001
    On December 20, 2001, Senghor passed away of natural causes in Verson, France.

// Famous Political Leaders

Léopold Sédar Senghor's FAQ

  • What is Léopold Sédar Senghor birthday?

    Léopold Sédar Senghor was born at 1906-10-09

  • When was Léopold Sédar Senghor died?

    Léopold Sédar Senghor was died at 2001-12-20

  • Where was Léopold Sédar Senghor died?

    Léopold Sédar Senghor was died in Verson

  • Which age was Léopold Sédar Senghor died?

    Léopold Sédar Senghor was died at age 95

  • Where is Léopold Sédar Senghor's birth place?

    Léopold Sédar Senghor was born in Joal-Fadiouth

  • What is Léopold Sédar Senghor nationalities?

    Léopold Sédar Senghor's nationalities is Senegalese

  • What was Léopold Sédar Senghor universities?

    Léopold Sédar Senghor studied at Lycée Louis-le-Grand, École Normale Supérieure, Sorbonne, University of Paris

  • Which company or organization was founded by Léopold Sédar Senghor?

    Léopold Sédar Senghor was the founder/co-founder of Senegalese Democratic Bloc, Socialist Party of Senegal

  • What is Léopold Sédar Senghor's political ideology?

    Léopold Sédar Senghor's political ideology is Socialist Party of Senegal

  • What is Léopold Sédar Senghor's religion?

    Léopold Sédar Senghor's religion is Catholicism

  • What is Léopold Sédar Senghor's sun sign?

    Léopold Sédar Senghor is Libra

  • How famous is Léopold Sédar Senghor?

    Léopold Sédar Senghor is famouse as Senegalese Politician