Jean Hippolyte De Villemessant, a French journalist, born in Rouen, April 22, 1812. He is a son of Col. Cartier and Mlle, de Villemessant, whose name he assumed. In 1830 he married and engaged in business at Blois. After residing at Tours and Nantes, he settled in 1840 in Paris, where he established the Sylphide and wrote the fashion articles for the Presse. In 1848 he was connected with several papers, which were speedily suppressed; but the Chronique de Paris, founded by him Jan. 1, 1850, was not molested till June, 1852. His two sons-in-law enabled him in 1854 to revive the Figaro as a weekly and semi-weekly journal, and Edmond About, Rochefort, and Henri de Pene wrote for it. The last was wounded in a duel, and Villemessant himself and his staff were repeatedly involved in duels. But he turned all these and subsequent difficulties to good account, and became so successful that in 1866 he was able to issue a daily and to pay Rochefort an annual salary of 30,000 francs. To save the paper from prosecution, the latter withdrew in 1868. The daily issue is now (1876) 70,000, chiefly on account of its entertaining gossip.
Villemessant has conducted various other enterprises, and published Memoires d'un journaliste (1867-'76 et seq.).