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Mitterrand Hid Illness Since ‘81, Doctor Says

WEDNESDAY, JAN. 17, 1996

One of Francois Mitterrand’s doctors says the French president demanded his physicians hide from the public to hide the fact that he had cancer, which he knew within months of winning office in 1981.

Dr. Claude Gubler also contended Mitterrand, who died last week at age 79, was no longer capable of carrying out all his duties as president as early as November 1994.

Mitterrand ended his second term in May after holding the office for 14 years, the longest-serving French president this century.

Gubler, who treated the late president from 1969 until 1994, said Mitterrand required daily intravenous treatment since his condition was diagnosed in November 1981.

“In November 1994 I thought that Francois Mitterrand was no longer capable of assuming his duties,” Gubler wrote in a book co-authored with Michel Gonot, another Mitterrand doctor.

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