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Francois Ramon (Napoleon's World)

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Francois Guy Ramon-Gilledefort

Francois Ramon
Portrait of Francois Guy Ramon-Gilledefort

31st State Minister of the French Empire
April 11-June 1, 1966

Predecessor: Ronald d'Itan
Successor: Georges Predeval
Born: September 14, 1908
Died: June 1, 1966 (aged 57)
Spouse: Sabine Ramon-Gilledefort
Francois Guy Ramon-Gilledefort (September 14, 1908 - June 1, 1966), publicly referred to as Francois Ramon, was the 31st State Minister of the French Empire, serving that post from April 11, 1966 to his assassination on June 1 of that same year. As a result, at 50 days, he had the shortest tenure in the history of the office, beating out Joseph Potayal by 47 days. He was also only the fourth State Minister to be assassinated while holding office, after the de Bray brothers and Jacques de Celestine, and to date, the last. Prior to being Minister of State, he served for twenty years in the Foreign Ministry, holding high posts such as Foreign Minister (1961-66) and as Deputy Foreign Minister (1958-61) and as Undersecretary of Ministerial Affairs (1956-58). He was a career diplomat, having served in England and the United States in the 1940's and 1950's and considered former President Prescott Bush a friend. In his youth, he served as an artillery captain and was injured and rotated away from the front during the Battle of Dresden.

Early Life

Foreign Ministry

State Minister and Assassination

On April 11, the increasingly unpopular Ronald d'Itan was dismissed by Emperor Sebastien months after speculation had begun that the State Minister would be sacked. While Sebastien had been expected to make the announcement months earlier on Shroud Day, the Emperor had spent two months vetting potential replacements and eventually tabbed likable and loyal Foreign Minister Francois Ramon for the post.

While Ramon had little executive experience and had never worked in the State Ministry, it was considered a wise move on Sebastien's part as the past three State Ministers had been career Ministry bureaucrats who carried unwanted ties to the Sergetov era. Ramon was seen as a fresh new face for the regime and his diplomatic experience was considered critical now that the United States was a nuclear power.

In one of his only accomplishments during his 50 days as State Minister, Ramon visited US President Richard Van Dyke in neutral Jamaica at the Caribbean Conference between May 2-6, 1966. The tense conference was overshadowed by the liberal nuclear testing of the United States in the Pacific Ocean and in the New Mexico desert. Ramon also travelled to Brazil and Argentina on the same trip, meeting with local leaders as a sign of good faith. Only a week before his assassination, Ramon appeared in Bamako, Mali to congratulate the newly minted leader, Kamal Bato, for his successful coup d'etat and to invite Bato back into the French-aligned bloc.

Ramon did not accomplish a great deal at home in the Empire, although he did bring to the table a suggested union negotiation package that would be polished and pushed by his successors. On June 1, Ramon was travelling on foot through Bonn to speak to an academic conference when a man named Auguste Rochelet jumped over a guardrail separating them and opened fire. Rochelet was immediately gunned down by Ramon's bodyguards, but not before he had fired three shots, one of which wounded a Churat bodyguard and the other lodged in Ramon's throat.

Ramon entered intensive surgery at the local hospital, but after an hour had lost too much blood and died in surgery. Within fifteen minutes of his death, Sebastien appointed Deputy State Minister Georges Predeval to succeed Ramon.

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