Danielle Mitterrand, the widow of former French President Francois Mitterrand, has died at the age of 87.
Mrs Mitterrand had been admitted to Georges-Pompidou hospital in Paris after suffering from respiratory problems on Friday.
She was put in an artificial coma on Sunday and died in the early hours of Tuesday morning.
Francois Mitterrand led the Socialist party and served two terms as president of France, from 1981 to 1995.
A member of the French Resistance and a humanitarian campaigner, Danielle was often an outspoken first lady.
After the President's election in 1981, she devoted herself to human rights issues.
Francois Mitterrand died of cancer in 1996, but his widow continued her work.
The organisation she founded in 1986, France-Libertes, celebrated its 25th anniversary in October this year.
President Nicolas Sarkozy said "she never abandoned her values and pursued to the end of her might the battles she considered fair".