The announcement of his death sparked a flood of reactions in political and journalistic circles.
“With Philippe Alexandre, the French press loses a fierce pen, an implacable investigator, a free voice. Dreaded and admired, he was for many French people, one of the most familiar faces of political journalism”, reacted Monday evening on Twitter President Macron.
“With his talent, his vivacity, his free speech and the percussion of his editorials, he marked the history of the station,” praised RTL.
The journalist “died peacefully this morning” in Le Touquet, said one of his two daughters, Agnès Alexandre-Collier, in a message sent to AFP with the agreement of her sister and her mother-in-law. the journalist and writer Béatrix de l’Aulnoit.
Columnist at RTL from 1969 to 1996, he also appeared on television alongside Serge July in particular and was immortalized by the Guignols de l’info who paid tribute to him on Monday on social networks. He will be buried in the cemetery of Le Touquet, in Pas-de-Calais on Saturday, his family said.
A “purely political” journalist with the air of Inspector Colombo and a gravelly voice, Philippe Alexandre was a “pioneer of radio scratch hair and drypoint lines”, said his accomplice on television, the co-founder of ” Liberation”, Serge July.
His columns on RTL, listened to every morning by hundreds of thousands of listeners, were feared by politicians on all sides.
Some of them “can translate moods, bad faith, excesses, he declared to Figaro in 2016. But isn’t this specific to the function of editorialist?”.
– “Quick mind, sharp pen” –
“We were far from always in agreement, but he knew everything about politics, and his mind was as sharp as his pen was sharp. It’s a great voice that disappears,” greeted the president of the Court of Justice. accounts and former socialist minister Pierre Moscovici, on Twitter.
Born in Paris on March 14, 1932 into a family of Jewish origin, whose story he told in “My tribe more than French” (2017), Philippe Alexandre began in journalism in 1951 as an editor at “Combat”.
He joined RTL in 1969 after going through “L’Oise liberated”, “Jours de France”, “Le Nouveau Candide” or “Le Figaro Littéraire”.
“The man with libel trials as numerous as his political works” as Le Monde described him, spared no head of state. He claimed that the Élysée had asked for his resignation in 1982 “to appease François Mitterrand to whom my chronicles gave hives”.
On television, from 1989 to 1992, he co-hosted the political program “Le Débat” on TF1, with Serge July and Michèle Cotta, then, in the 90s, “Dimanche soir” on France 3 with Christine Ockrent and July, which will earn him frequent parodies in the “Guignols de l’Info”, on Canal .
He left RTL in 1996, after the merger of the Compagnie luxembourgeoise de télédiffusion (CLT) with the German group Bertelsmann.
Having become a political columnist for BFM, France 3 and various magazines, Philippe Alexandre has published some twenty books, including “Landscapes of the countryside” (on the 1988 presidential election, price Today), “Too many taxes kills l ’employment’ (2005) or “Dictionary of Lovers of Politics” (2011).
He co-wrote several books with his companion Béatrix de l’Aulnoit, including a pamphlet against Martine Aubry, “La Dame des 35 heures” (2002), which provoked the fury of the socialist leader.