Jacques Chirac (born in Paris, France, on November 29, 1932) is a former President of France and the only person (as of January 2012) to have served as Prime Minister on two different occasions.
He got involved in politics in the 1950s after being inspired by the work and accomplishments of French general and politician Charles de Gaulle. For a time he was an active member of the French Communist Party.
The real start of his career would come in April 1962 when he was named the head of Prime Minister Georges Pompidou's staff. Pompidou would nickname Chirac `Le Bulldozer' due to his ability to get things done. It was Pompidou that encouraged Chirac to run for a seat in the National Assembly in 1967.
It was not until 1972 when Pompidou was elected president that Chirac was appointed to a high-level cabinet post (Minister of Agriculture). He later began serving as the Minister of the Interior in 1974. That same year, when a new president was elected, he was named the prime minister. However, he was never given much authority and resigned the post in 1976.
In order to stay in the public eye and gather a base from which he could make a bid for president, he ran for and was elected Mayor of Paris in 1977, a position he would hold until 1995. It was at that time that he was able to successfully run for the office of President which he would hold from 1995 to 2007.
Word of possible corruption and embezzlement by Chirac while he was Mayor of Paris became public knowledge in 1999. Due to his position as President at the time he was given immunity against the criminal charges. However, when he stepped down after a second term his immunity ended and he had to face trial.
Chirac was found guilty of corruption on December 15, 2011, involving incidents related to his time as Mayor. He was given a two-year suspended sentence.