Laurent Fabius, the son of a wealthy Jewish art dealer, was born in Paris, France, in 1946. After leaving university he joined the Council of State as an auditor. A member of the French Socialist Party he became economic adviser to Francois Mitterrand.
Fabius was elected to the National Assembly in 1978. After the socialist victory in 1981 he served as Budget Minister (1981-83) and Minister for Research and Industry (1983-84). At the age of 37, Fabius was appointed Prime Minister of France.
Fabius resigned following the French Socialist Party defeat in 1986. He returned to power when he became President of the party in 1988. He was also First Secretary between 1992-93.