François de la Rochefoucauld (September 15, 1613 - March 17, 1680) was a French writer famous for his Maxims. As a young man he pursued a military career and at the age of 17 he took part in the Italian campaign where he fought bravely. In 1636 he fought in the Netherlands, he then became involved in the failed conspiracy against Richelieu and he was imprisoned in 1637 in Bastille. In 1642 he took part in a new conspiracy, this time against Mazarin. He was a conspicuous figure in the siege of Paris, fought in many of the frequent military engagements, and was seriously wounded at the siege of Mardyke. In 1652 he had gained a leading position in the army, and the following year, he earned a royal allowance.
Around 1658 he retired from politics to his country estate of Verteuil where he started writting. He appeared to letters with the "Memoirs"; a book with portraits of famous people of his time. Many people were offended by this book. In 1665, he published the Maximes (maxims), which established his position as a writer. He died in Paris on 17 March 1680