Jean-Dominique Bauby (Jean Jean-Dominique Bauby)

Jean-Dominique Bauby

Author.  Born and raised in Paris,  he was a journalist for French Elle magazine and became its editor-in-chief in 1991.  Nicknamed “Jean-Do” by his friends,  he was a noted bon vivant and a fixture of fashionable Parisian society.  In December 1995,  at the age of 43,  Bauby suffered a massive stroke which left him completely paralyzed and speechless,  a condition known as “locked-in syndrome”.  Only his mind and his left eyelid still functioned.  With the help of a therapist he learned to communicate through blinking,  indicating “yes” to letters of the alphabet as they were recited to him,  until words were formed.  In this painstaking manner he “dictated” an extraordinary memoir,  “The Diving Bell and the Butterfly” (1997).  With gentle humanity and stoicism Bauby described his existence as a prisoner in his own body,  reflected on his past,  and indulged in charming flights of imagination.  He died two days after its publication and did not see the book become an international best-seller.  In 2007 it was made into an acclaimed film by director-artist Julian Schnabel. (bio by: Bobb Edwards)


  • April, 23, 1952


  • March, 03, 1997


  • Cimetière du Père Lachaise
  • France

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