He has been involved in politics since the age of 23 as the secretary of the Socialist federation in Aveyron.
He was first elected to the Paris city council in 1977.
In 1993, he became the head of the city's Socialist Party.
He is now focusing on political openness and fiscal responsibility.
While not taking an active part in the gay and lesbian community, Delanoë wants to make a difference, especially in ending discrimination in municipal subsidies to civic groups.
Since becoming mayor, his goals have been to improve the quality of life, reduce pollution, and cut down on traffic jams within the city (including a plan for a non-polluting tramway to ease Parisian traffic) and pedestrian malls.
Delanoë was virtually unknown before the election; he has since then has become a rather popular mayor, organising new and unusual events in Paris, such as giant beach for picnics on the banks of the Seine River in summer 2002.
He was stabbed on October 5, 2002 during the Nuits Blanches, a night of festivities in Paris. His assailant, Azedine Berkane, was reported to have told police that "he did not like politicians and in particular did not like homosexuals".
Delanoë's wound was reported not to be life-threatening and he left the hospital after about two weeks.
- Paris and beaches (in French)