Birth and Early Years on the Île d’Oléron

Pierre Bergé was born on the Île d'Oléron on November 14, 1930. His mother was a schoolteacher, and his father was a civil servant. He took an early interest in music and literature, which would go on to become lifelong passions. As a child, his motherherself an amateur sopranohad him take violin lessons. What would become his ongoing affinity for great writers first emerged when he read Charles Dickens’s David Copperfield at the age of 9.

After briefly moving to Lisieux, his family settled in La Rochelle, where Bergé attended high school. A few weeks after receiving his diploma, he decided to pursue a career in journalism and left La Rochelle for Paris, against his parents’ wishes that he continue his studies.