Death of Bernard Pivot: illness stronger since his withdrawal from Goncourt

Writer and broadcaster Bernard Pivot has died at the age of 89.

Death of Bernard Pivot: illness stronger since his withdrawal from Goncourt

Writer and broadcaster Bernard Pivot has died at the age of 89. He had transmitted his passion for words to the whole of France for decades.

Bernard Pivot is no more. This Monday, May 6, 2024, his family announced his death following an illness to AFP. The former presenter and writer died at the age of 89 in Neuilly-sur-Seine. Creator of the show “Apostrophe” on Antenne 2, he made millions of French people love books. A former journalist and president of the Académie Goncourt, he also presented the program "Bouillon de culture" and organized, from 1985, the Discos d'or, a spelling championship which has become international.

Born on May 5, 1935 in Lyon, this lover of the French language first studied law in the capital of Gaul, then journalism in Paris. Graduated from the Journalists' Training Center (CFJ) in 1957, he joined Le Figaro littéraire in 1958, then became head of the literary department of Le Figaro. He started on television in 1973 by hosting the literary magazine “Ouvrez les guillemets”. Since then, "Apostrophe", "Bouillon de culture"... We can no longer count the successes in which Bernard Pivot has participated. He notably received great writers like Marguerite Duras as well as musicians and actors. Brassens and Ferré paraded on its sets. Bernard Pivot was a major player in the rich days of French television. He also chaired the Goncourt academy from 2004 to 2019.

Bernard Pivot has also written numerous works on his passions, literature and words, but also football and wine. “But life goes on”, his latest work published in 2021, which looked like an autobiography, spoke in particular about growing old. His glasses fixed on the tip of his nose have made him an essential man on the small screen.

In recent years, he has been very active on Twitter, as if to extend a lifetime dedicated to words. He shared his moods with more than a million subscribers. In an interview given to JDD in April 2023, he indicated the reasons which pushed him to withdraw from the Académie Goncourt and the media: "I remained silent because evil struck me in the head, seat of brain and speech. It is better to remain silent while waiting for memory to recharge and thoughts to flourish again. A characteristic discretion of the character. In 1992, he refused the Legion of Honor.

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