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Education at Ecole normale supérieure, Paris; survival during German Occupation, and gathering of astronomers at Haute Provence Observatory; work in stellar evolution, white dwarfs, and stellar atmospheres; views on cosmology; personal relation to Communist Party. Postwar situation of French astronomy, difficulties of establishing astrophysical community, Institut d'Astrophysique, changing relationships in education, government, and funding mechanisms. Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales (CNES). Société Astronomique de France. Comments on a variety of institutional problems.