Born in Lille, France in 1890, Charles de Gaulle rose from French soldier in World War I to exiled leader and, eventually, president of the Fifth Republic, a position he held until 1969. De Gaulle's time as a commander in World War II would later influence his political career, providing him with a tenacious drive. His time as president was marked by the student and worker uprisings in 1968, which he responded to with an appeal for civil order. (biography.com)