Jean Taittinger, former French legislator and heir to the Champagne-producing family Taittinger, died at his home in Switzerland on Sunday, September 23. He was 89.
Born January 25, 1923, Taittinger’s career in politics was expansive. From 1958–1973, he served as a member of parliament and held office as mayor of Reims in Champagne for 18 years until the late 1970s. Taittinger also acted as the justice minister of France under President Georges Pompidou in the mid-1970s.
When Taittinger’s brother, Pierre, died in 1965, he took over his brother’s position as president of the family-operated Societé du Louvre, a holding company of luxury goods and hotels, including Baccarat crystal and Hôtel de Crillon in Paris.
Taittinger ceded his position as president to his daughter, Anne-Claire Taittinger Bonnemaison, in 1997.
In 2006, Taittinger helped repossess the family’s Champagne business, which had been acquired a year prior by the American investment company Starwood Capital Group. He was later named honorary president of Taittinger.
Taittinger is survived by his wife, artist Corinne Deville, and five children. His son, Pierre-Emmanuel, is the current president of Champagne Taittinger.