Léon Blum, portrait by Félix Vallotton, 1900
André Léon Blum (9 April 1872 – 30 March 1950), was a French politician, usually identified with the moderate left, and three times the Prime Minister of France.
Blum was born in the Paris Jewish community: he attended the Lycée Henri IV. There he met the writer André Gide and published his first poems at the age of 17 in a journal they created. Blum entered the prestigious École Normale Supérieure in 1890. After graduation, he wavered between studying law and literature. Rather than choose between them, he decided to study both at the Sorbonne, graduating in literature in 1890 and in law in 1894. He then worked as a government lawyer while developing a second career as a literary critic, in particular as an authority on Goethe. He soon became one of France's leading literary figures.