Raymond Poincaré

Raymond Poincaré (August 20, 1860- 1920) was a French statesman.

Born in Bar-le-duc, the son of Nicolas Antoinin Hélène Poincaré, a distinguished civil servant and meteorologist. Educated at the university of Paris, Raymond was called to the Paris bar, and was for some time law editor of the Voltaire. He had served for over a year in the department of agriculture when in 1887 he was elected deputy for the Meuse.

He made a great reputation in the Chamber as an economist, and sat on the budget commissions of 1890-1891 and 1892. He was minister of education, fine arts and religion in the first cabinet (April-Nov. 1893) of Charles Dupuy, and minister of finance in the second and third (May 1894-Jan. 1895).

In Alexandre Ribot’s cabinet Poincaré became minister of public instruction. Although he was excluded from the Radical cabinet which followed, the revised scheme of death duties proposed by the new ministry was based upon his proposals of the previous year.

He became vice-president of the chamber in the autumn of 1895, and in spite of the bitter hostility of the Radicals retained his position in 1896 and 1897. In 1906 he returned to the ministry of finance in the short-lived Sarrien ministry. Poincaré had retained his practice at the bar during his political career, and he published several volumes of essays on literary and political subjects.

His brother, Lucien Poincaré (b. 1862), famous as a physicist, became inspector-general of public instruction in 1902. He is the author of La Physique moderne (1906) and L’Electricité (1907). Jules Henri Poincaré (b. 1854), also a distinguished physicist, belongs to another branch of the same family.