Jean-Marie Le Pen, founder of France’s far-right National Front, hospitalized
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Jean-Marie Le Pen, founder of France’s far-right National Front, hospitalized

90-year-old father of current party leader Marine, who has a history of making anti-Semitic remarks, treated for fever

This file photo taken on September 28, 2016 shows French far-right National Front party founder and former leader Jean-Marie Le Pen delivering a speech during a press conference in Mormant, near Paris. (AFP Photo/Geoffroy Van Der Hasselt)
This file photo taken on September 28, 2016 shows French far-right National Front party founder and former leader Jean-Marie Le Pen delivering a speech during a press conference in Mormant, near Paris. (AFP Photo/Geoffroy Van Der Hasselt)

PARIS — The founder of France’s far-right National Front, 90-year-old Jean-Marie Le Pen, was hospitalized Tuesday with a persistent fever.

The measure was taken to prevent potential complications, his entourage said in a statement, and though Le Pen was “not in danger,” he has canceled the majority of his appointments for the coming days, his office said in a statement.

The increasingly frail Le Pen, who co-founded the National Front in 1972 and built it into a major force in French politics, turned 90 in hospital in June, when he was treated for a “dangerous pulmonary complication” resulting from a bout of flu.

That illness forced a delay in the verdict from a hate-speech case over comments he made about gay people.

France’s former far-right National Front party leader Jean-Marie Le Pen (R) and his daughter and current party leader Marine Le Pen (L) on November 29, 2014 (Jeff Pachoud/AFP)

Le Pen was succeeded in 2011 by his daughter Marine as leader of the FN, later rebaptized the National Rally.

Marine Le Pen has distanced herself from her father’s controversial legacy which included a string of xenophobic and anti-Semitic comments — including, famously, dismissing Nazi gas chambers as a “detail” of history — that led to convictions.

Marine kicked him out of the FN in 2015 and changed the name of the party.

Jean-Marie Le Pen also spent several days in a hospital in April 2015 with a heart problem, linked by party sources to stress from the highly publicized political blow-up with his daughter.

Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.

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