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Bernard Tapie is dead. The French businessman, politician and actor was 78 years old

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Bernard Tapie is dead, his family announced on Sunday. Entrepreneur, former owner of the Olympique Marseille club, politician and actor, died at the age of 78. Tapie suffered from stomach cancer. Prime Minister Jean Castex said that he is paying tribute to the memory of the deceased.

Castex stressed, in his condolences to the family, that Bernard Tapie had always been a “fighter for the cause” and a “committed man” to whom he wishes to “pay tribute today” on behalf of the government.

Bernard Tapie died at the age of 78

Sometimes referred to as the “Zorr of Entrepreneurship,” Tapie specialized in taking over failing companies. He was the owner of, among others Adidas and the football club Olympique Marseille, which he bought in 1983.

He also briefly served as Minister of Cities in Francois Mitterand’s socialist government in the early 1990s. He also sat in the National Assembly and the European Parliament.

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In the memory of the French, Beranard Tapie will remain forever a symbol of the economically successful 1980s France.

Bernard TapieEPA / PAP

Politician, entrepreneur and actor

In the mid-1990s, Tapi’s career was interrupted by numerous corruption scandals, including allegations of fixing the results of football matches. The businessman was found guilty of financial and tax crimes, he was sent to prison for five months, and was also deprived of his electoral rights.

It was only in 2019 that the controversial arbitration process resolving his dispute with the failed bank Credit Lyonnais over the purchase of Adidas shares was completed. The verdict was due on July 9, but the court hearing was adjourned due to Tapi’s state of health. The prosecutor asked for five years in prison for a businessman.


An associate of Francois Mitterand during his presidency, Bernard Tapie then became the main adversary of the leader of the far-right National Front, Jean-Marie Le Pen. While arguing with him, he tried to prevent the youth from the suburbs from becoming nationalist. As the son of a laborer who achieved everything with his own work, it was easier for him to find young people, emphasizes FranceInfo. In 2007, he supported Nicolas Sarkozy during his presidential campaign.

Bernard TapieEPA / PAP

Bernard Tapie was also a famous actor and TV moderator. He gained recognition and popularity, among others thanks to the TV show Ambitions, which he hosted in 1986–87.

Main photo source: EPA / PAP

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