Jean Giraudoux was a French playwright, novelist, and diplomat whose witty, originally expressed works in an impressionistic style helped free French theater from the restrictions of realism. He wrote fifteen internationally acclaimed plays, most initially staged by the actor-director Louis Jouvet. Giraudoux was born in the village of Bellac on October 29, 1882. He received his education at the École Normale Supérieure in Paris, the University of Munich, and Harvard University. In his youth Giraudoux traveled extensively to Germany, Italy, the Balkans, Canada, and the United States, where he spent a year (1906-07) as an instructor at Harvard. Returning to France, he entered the French foreign service in 1910. He served in World War I, was twice wounded, and became the first writer ever to be awarded the wartime Legion of Honor. He became director of information of France in 1929 and held a similar post under the government of Marshal Henri Philippe Pétain, the so-called Vichy regime. Giraudoux first won literary acclaim for several novels that appeared shortly after World War I, including My Friend from Limousin (1922) and Églantine (1927). These were followed by such internationally successful plays as SIEGFRIED (1928), JUDITH (1931), AMPHITRYON 38 (1929), INTERMEZZO (1933), TIGER AT THE GATES (1935), ÉLECTRE (1937), and ONDINE (1939). Many of these were modern treatments of ancient Greek stories. In 1943 he completed his last play, the satirical LA FOLLE DE CHAILLOT, produced posthumously in France in 1945 and produced in the United States. in 1947 as THE MADWOMAN OF CHAILLOT. Giraudoux also wrote numerous short stories and was one of France’s outstanding essayists during the interwar years, best known for such literary studies as Racine (1930) and such political studies as Pleins Pouvoirs (Full Powers, 1939). At the start of World War II he served as minister of information under Premier Édouard Daladier. He died on January 31, 1944. A novel, La Menteuse, was discovered in 1968 and published in English as The Lying Woman in 1972.