Pierre de Coubertin, the son of an artist, was born in Paris in 1863. A talented sportsman, he took part in boxing, fencing, horseriding and rowing.
Coubertin was an educationalist who attempted to reform the French education system. He was interested in sports education as he believed it had the potential to develop what he called "moral energy" and eventually became Secretary General of the Union of French Societies of Athletic Sports (USFSA).
Coubertin announced that he intended to revive the Olympic Games and on 23rd June, 1894, established the International Olympic Committee (IOC) at a meeting held at the University of Sorbonne in Paris.
The first Olympic Games of the modern era were held in Athens in 1896. Coubertin became president of the International Olympic Committee, a post he held for 29 years. During the First World War Coubertin moved the headquarters of the IOC to Lausanne, Switzerland.
Pierre de Coubertin, who published his autobiography, Olympic Memoirs, in 1931, died of a heart attack in Geneva on 2nd September, 1937.