Famous people were born and lived in the Castres-Mazamet territory throughout its history.
(In alphabetical order)
Laurent Cabrol (born in 1947)
Laurent Cabrol is a local personality, media man, born in Saint-Amans Valtoret. To his credit, a long career with multiple positions: weather presenter, TV host (Une famille en or, Téléshopping), reporter and radio presenter. He is also a writer and has moreover written detective stories about the Montagne Noire. He is very involved in the life of the Mazamétain basin (president of the Sporting Club, and assistance for the newspaper “La Montagne Noire”, member of the Castres Mazamet flying club…).
Pierre Fabre (1926-2013)
A pharmacist by training, he founded one of the largest French pharmaceutical groups, Laboratoires which bear his name. Marketing several brands (Réné Furterer, Galienic, Ducray etc.), its laboratories employ more than 10,000 people worldwide, including 4000 in France. He was very involved in local life as shown by his numerous sites in the Tarn, in Castres in particular, his partnerships, sponsorships … In 1989, he acquired the rugby club “Castres Olympique”, regularly propelling it to the heights of the Top 14. Today, a place in Castres bears his name, as does the Rugby Stadium.
Pierre de Fermat (early 17th - 1665)
An eminent adviser and magistrate of the Castres’ Chamber of Edict, Pierre de Fermat is a famous mathematician with recognized scientific theories. He perfected optical science, mechanics and especially number theory. He died in Castres in 1665, during a session in the House of the Edict. A commemorative plaque can be found on Place Jean Jaurès in the Center of Castres.
Laurent Jalabert (born in 1968)
Great French cyclist, the Mazamétain Laurent Jalabert, achieved his feats in the 90s. Winner of the Tour of Spain in 1995, World Champion of the time trial in 1997 among others, he won more than 130 victories in his career! Retired from his sport, he is now a consultant for cycling at France Television. He sponsors each year with his brother Nicolas, the “La Jalabert” race in the Montagne Noire (in August). A Mazamet square bears his name.
Jean Jaurès (1859-1914)
A great French historical figure, politician, father of socialism in France, Jean Jaurès was born in Castres where he spent his childhood. Great tribune, creator of the newspaper L’Humanité, writer, youngest member of France Parliament, he waged many battles for workers and miners.. He was assassinated in 1914, at the dawn of the First World War. In Castres, a square with a statue and a high school bear his name. A National Centre and Jean Jaurès Museum traces his life, his struggles, his humanist and social values.
Lucien Mias (born in 1930)
A famous rugby player whowas playing in “Sporting Club Mazamétain” in the fifties and participated to the final of Championnat de France in 1958. He was in the French team between 1951 and 1959 and was the captain during 6 selections. He won 2 Five Nations Championships, a Europe Cup FIRA (amateur rugby) in 1952. After his sporting career, he was responsible in the hospital of Castres in geriatrics and a doctor in Mazamet.
Henri Pistre (1900-1981)
Father Pistre was nicknamed the “Pope of rugby”! Priest in several parishes of Tarn throughout his life, he had a passion for rugby. He played with SC Albi as the third line. Director of Castres Olympique and short coach in 1934, he was even be a commentator for some rugby matches for TF1 in 1975! He is buried in the Noailhac cemetery.
Georges Prêtre (1924-2017)
Conductor, known internationally, Georges Prêtre was linked to the village of Navès, where he died in 2019. After having learned the piano and won the first prize for trumpet at the Paris Conservatory, he learnt how to conduct the orchestra . He will notably direct the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra of London, the Scala Orchestra of Milan and will be director for a season of the Paris Opera. In his honor, the municipal hall of Navès today bears his name.
Jean-de Dieu Soult (1769-1851)
Jean-de Dieu Soult was a French soldier and great statesman under Louis-Philippe. Born in Saint Amans la Bastide (now Soult), he was considered by Napoleon to be the first labourer in Europe. He became Marshall of the Empire in 1804. Minister of War, then several times Head of Government, he was made Marshall General of France in 1847. It is in his honor that the town of Saint-Amans-Soult bears his name. The castle of Soult-Berg and its park where the Marshal lived are classified as Historic Monuments.
Emilie de Villeneuve (1811-1854)
Emilie de Villeneuve was a Catholic nun who founded the congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception. Daughter of the Marquis de Villeneuve, she spent her childhood at Château d’Hauterive near Castres. With her congregation, she took care of the poorest. Long after his death from a cholera epidemic, two miracles happened, following prayers addressed to him. They will be recognised by the Catholic Church. She was canonised (elevated to the rank of Saint) by Pope Francis in 2015.