Pierre De Geyter
Pierre De Geyter

Celebrity Profile

Name: Pierre De Geyter
Occupation: Composer
Gender: Male
Birth Day: October 8, 1848
Age: 171
Country: Belgium
Zodiac Sign: Libra

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Weight: in kg - N/A
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Pierre De Geyter

Pierre De Geyter was born on October 8, 1848 in Belgium (171 years old). Pierre De Geyter is a Composer, zodiac sign: Libra. Find out Pierre De Geyternet worth 2020, salary 2020 detail bellow.


He was honored in 1998 with a monument made of Bronze that was placed in the Ghent Museum of Industrial Art and Textiles.

Net Worth

Net Worth 2020


Salary 2020

Not known

Before Fame

He studied at the Lille Academy growing up where he focused on drawing. This enabled him to find his first paying job as a woodcarver when he was only 17.

Biography Timeline


On 15 July 1888, Delory contacted De Geyter to compose music for several "Chants révolutionnaires" that were often sung at popular events with Lille socialists. Among these was a song that was to become the International Workingmen's Association anthem, The Internationale. The lyrics had been written by Eugène Edine Pottier during the "Semaine Sanglante" (the "bloody week," May 22–28, 1871) marking the end and the severe repression of the Paris Commune of 1871. Until then, the song had usually been sung to the tune of the Marseillaise.

It took Pierre one Sunday morning to compose his music on a harmonium. According to one source, he then asked his brother Adolphe to play it on the bugle, and subsequently made some minor changes to the music. The new composition was first played by the Lyre des Travailleurs at the yearly fête of the Lille trade union of newspaper sellers in July 1888. Six thousand leaflets were printed at Pierre's favorite printing firm, Boldoduc, and sold to raise money for the socialist party in Lille. To protect his job, only "Degeyter" was named as the composer but Pierre was dismissed regardless and was subsequently blacklisted by Lille employers. He was soon reduced to performing odd jobs, such as making coffins. In 1902, he left Lille with his wife and daughter and moved to Saint-Denis, near Paris.


In fact, Pierre De Geyter had neglected to secure copyright. As the song became ever more popular, his brother Adolphe De Geyter claimed copyright in 1901 and began to collect royalties on it. Pierre had become estranged from the socialist establishment of Lille by siding with the left-wing opponents of the Bloc National government of 1902, and with the Marxist war opponents influenced by Bolshevism, who would later form the communist party. In 1904, Pierre started court proceedings against Adolphe, but Gustave Delory (mayor of Lille by then) supported Adolphe's claim (though in an 1888 meeting with the Ghent socialist leader Edward Anseele he had identified Pierre De Geyter as the author) and, as a result, Pierre was unable to prove his authorship. He lost the case in 1914. At the beginning of 1916, however, during the First World War, Adolphe De Geyter hanged himself, leaving a note for his brother in which he acknowledged his fraud and asserted that he had been pressured by others to make the claim. Pierre, who was in unoccupied France at the time, received the letter only after the war. In 1922, the copyright verdict was reversed.


In 1927, leaders of the Soviet Union discovered that the real author of The Internationale, which was then the Soviet Union's national anthem, had not yet died. Pierre was invited to Moscow for the celebration of the 10th anniversary of the October Revolution and was in the stands of the honorary guests, with the German sculptor Käthe Kollwitz at his side. Joseph Stalin awarded him a Soviet Union state pension (according to some sources as a compensation for his copyright). As this was Pierre's only income, apart from modest fees collected on music for the other Pottier poems (particularly L'Insurgé and En avant la Classe Ouvrière) and on popular tunes he had also composed, and although the left-wing town administration of Saint-Denis granted him a free apartment, Pierre De Geyter spent the last years of his life in precarity. After his death at Saint-Denis in 1932, more than fifty thousand people attended his funeral.


There is a Pierre De Geyter street in Ghent and there are Pierre Degeyter squares both in Lille (in Fives, the suburb where he used to live) and in Saint-Denis. Lille also named a procession giant after him. In Sofia (Bulgaria) there is a street Пиер Дегейтър. A bronze monument to Pierre De Geyter has adorned the Ghent MIAT (Museum of Industry, Labour and Textiles) since 1998. A documentary film on Pierre De Geyter and the story of The Internationale has been produced in 1978.

Family Life

Pierre made his life in France, but was actually born in Ghent, Belgium. Pierre grew up as one of five children.

🎂 Upcoming Birthday

Currently, Pierre De Geyter is 173 years, 7 months and 15 days old. Pierre De Geyter will celebrate 174th birthday on a Saturday 8th of October 2022. Below we countdown to Pierre De Geyter upcoming birthday.


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