The independent centrist, who had never held elected office, has become the Fifth Republic’s youngest ever president after defeating far-right candidate Marine Le Pen.
The 39-year-old former investment banker, who entered the race without the backing of an established political party, had been branded by his opponents as inexperienced.
But part of Macron’s allure is his atypical rise — a civil servant who became a millionaire and eventually a government minister.
Marriage a focus
His private life has attracted attention, too. As a 17-year-old, he told his high school teacher that he would one day marry her. He fulfilled that promise in 2007 when Brigitte Trogneux, 24 years his senior, became his wife.
French journalist Anne Fulda reveals more details about their relationship in her recent book, “Emmanuel Macron: A Perfect Young Man.”
According to Reuters, the book tells how the teenage Macron defied his father’s orders to end the romance with Trogneux, who was married with three children at the time.
Since 2015, the previously very private couple have been spending more time with the media, appearing in several French glossy magazines.
The marriage took center stage earlier this year when Macron was accused of having an affair with a man. He dismissed the allegations and criticized the rumormongers, saying: “For those who want to spread the rumor that I am deceitful… not only is it unpleasant for Brigitte, but I promise that from morning until night, she shares my whole life with me. She’s wondering how I could physically do it.”
From minister to candidate
Born in the northern French city of Amiens where he went to school and first met Trogneux, Macron studied at Paris’s prestigious Lycée Henry IV before entering the Ecole National d’Administration, long a training ground for France’s political elite.
Appointed to President Francois Hollande’s staff in 2012 after a successful career in the banking sector, Macron moved into the role of economy minister two years later, replacing the more left-wing Arnaud Montebourg.
But his time in office was not without controversy. His determination to push through business-friendly, liberal reforms made him unpopular on the government’s own benches.
With a backbench rebellion and government defeat looming, the so-called “Macron Law,” which aimed to shake up the economy through labor reform, had to be forced through the National Assembly with the help of a controversial parliamentary measure.
It led to several days of protest, but also to Macron’s realization that it was not just the economy that needed to change, but the system itself.
Announcing his resignation in August, he explained that he had “touched with his own finger, the limits of the system,” before catapulting himself into the presidential race by launching his own party, En Marche!