It was on this date, January 9, 1908, that French existentialist philosopher Simone de Beauvoir was born Simone Lucia Ernestine Marie Bertrand de Beauvoir in Paris. Rejecting her mother’s Roman Catholicism, she became an Atheist as a teenager and graduated from the Sorbonne in 1929, after giving a presentation on Leibniz. Shortly thereafter de Beauvoir met her life-long companion and fellow existentialist, Jean-Paul Sartre, having taken second place on the final exam to Sartre’s first – and distinguishing herself, at age 21, as the youngest person, male or female, to achieve the aggregation in philosophy.
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Originally published January 2003 by Ronald Bruce Meyer.