Fernande Grudet was born on July 6, 1923, and died on December 21, 2015.
Also known as Madame Claude, was a French brothel keeper.
In the 1960s, Fernande was the head of a French network of call girls who worked especially for dignitaries and civil servants.
Born on 6 July 1923 in Angers, France, Fernande was reared in a convent by nuns.
After acting as an agent of the Resistance during the German Occupation of France during World War II and doing several other jobs, Fernande created her exclusive prostitution network in Paris during the 1960s.
At this time she ran a brothel in the expensive 16th arrondissement of Paris.
“There are two things that people will always pay for: food and sex. I wasn’t any good at cooking”, she is reputed to have said.
Fernande wealthy clientele included not only political figures, but also members of the Mafia, and her status as an informant to the police ensured she was protected.
Her address book, Fernande claimed, had included the names of the Shah of Iran, John F. Kennedy, and Gianni Agnelli, the one-time head of Fiat.
In 1976, the judge Jean-Louis Bruguière began dismantling Fernande organization.
Fernande was being pursued for unpaid taxes, amounting to 11m francs, (around £4.9m), and fled to Los Angeles, but returned to France in 1986, serving a four-month jail sentence.
After her release, Fernande attempted to set up a new prostitution organization, but in 1992 she was sentenced to a term in Fleury-Merogis Prison for procuring.
The history of Madame Claude has inspired many writers.
Her life was the basis of the feature film, Madame Claude (1977), directed by Just Jaeckin, and starring Françoise Fabian.
Fernande Grudet passed away in Nice on December 21, 2015.