Revel, Jean-François

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Revel, Jean-François Gender: M
Jean-François Constant Ricard
born on 19 January 1924 at 07:00 (= 07:00 AM )
Place Marseille, France, 43n18, 5e24
Timezone GMT h0e (is standard time)
Data source
BC/BR in hand
Rodden Rating AA
Collector: Geslain
Astrology data s_su.18.gif s_capcol.18.gif 27°57' s_mo.18.gif s_gemcol.18.gif 26°23 Asc.s_capcol.18.gif 24°25'

Jean-François Revel (by Elsa Dorfman, 1999)
photo: Elsa Dorfman, license gfdl


French philosopher and political commentator. He was a member of the resistance in WW II. Professor and literary advisor for Juilliard publishing, 1960 and of Robert Laffont publishing, 1965, Revel was founder and director of the Libretés collection at J.J. Pauvert publishing. A columnist, 1966-78, he was Director of l’Express newspaper 1978-81. He is the author of "How Democracies Perish," 1985, "Without Marx or Jesus; the new American Revolution has Begun," 1971, "Culture and Cuisine: A Journey Through the History of Food," 1982, "The French," 1966, "The Totalitarian Temptation," 1977 and "The Flight From Truth: The Reign of Deceit in the Information Age," 1991. Revel was elected to the French Academy on 19 June 1997.

Revel married Yahne Letoumelin on 26 July 1945; they divorced on 26 April 1966; two children. He made a second marriage on 7 July 1967, to author Claude Sarraute; one child.

Revel's son, Matthieu Ricard (his pen name) surprised him as a youth by turning from molecular biology to Tibetan Buddhism. The relationship between father and son with their contrasting life-views is the subject of a book, "The Monk and the Philosopher." Revel's first visit to Darjeeling, India, in 1973 convinced him that his son was engaged in serious study. He returned to France and wrote about the Chinese attempt to stamp out Tibetan Buddhism by torturing and killing monks and destroying some 6,000 monasteries. An agnostic, known for the sharp sarcasm of his tongue, Revel and his son never really discussed their contrasting philosophies until, in the spring of 1996, they agreed to the project of a book. They met at an inn in the mountains overlooking Katmandu and talked for weeks.

Revel asked most of the questions: What is consciousness? Why is there suffering" Is there life after death? Is Buddhism a religion or a philosophy? Though they disagreed on some points, such as reincarnation, their dialogue was rich with the exploration of meanings.

The philosopher died at age 82 on April 30, 2006 at a hospital just south of Paris. The cause of his death was not given.

Link to Wikipedia biography



  • Relationship : Marriage 26 July 1945 (Yahne Letoumelin, 21 years)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Work : New Career 1966 (Columnist, 12 years)
  • Relationship : Divorce dates 26 April 1966 (From Yahne)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Relationship : Marriage 7 July 1967 (Second marriage Claude Sarraute)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Social : Begin Travel 1973 (Visited his son in India)
  • Work : New Job 1978 (Director of newspaper, four years)
  • Work : Published/ Exhibited/ Released 1985 (First book released)
  • Work : Begin Major Project 1996 (Met with son for work on book)
  • Work : Gain social status 19 June 1997 (Elected to the French Academy)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Death, Cause unspecified 30 April 2006 (Age 82, near Paris)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.

Source Notes

Extract from birth certificate in Didier Geslain archive, 'Philosophes' pdf file, p. 83, has surname "Revel."

Jean-Christophe Vitu quotes B.C. from Regine Ruet. (Patrice Petitallot noted, "He was born RICARD and legally changed his name by a degree on 3/08/1978."


  • Family : Relationship : Marriage more than 15 Yrs (First, 21 years, divorced)
  • Family : Relationship : Number of Marriages (Two)
  • Family : Parenting : Kids 1-3 (Three)
  • Family : Parenting : Kids - Noted (Son Matthieu Ricard)
  • Personal : Religion/Spirituality : Atheist (Agnostic)
  • Personal : Religion/Spirituality : Philosopher/ Humanist (Philosopher)
  • Personal : Death : Long life more than 80 yrs (82)
  • Vocation : Politics : Activist/ political (Member of the Resistance in WW II)
  • Vocation : Writers : Columnist/ journalist (Political commentator)
  • Vocation : Writers : Religion/ Philosophy (Cultural philosophy, agnostic)
  • Vocation : Writers : Publisher/ Editor (Literary advisor to publisher)