French philosopher Andre Glucksmann, who bridged the intellectual worlds of Jean-Paul Sartre and Michel Foucault and was a towering fighter against totalitarianism, has died. He was 78.

France's presidency on Tuesday paid its respects to the "great figure" who passed away Monday in Paris. Glucksmann was a son of refugees who lit up the French intellectual world with his lifelong fight for minorities and refugees.

He found popular fame for pressuring former French President Valery Giscard d'Estaing — alongside Sartre — to do more to help Vietnamese refugees in 1979.

A controversial figure, Glucksmann began his career as a Marxist, but went on to reject communism in 1975 in the popular book "La Cuisiniere le Mangeur d'Hommes" and later became an outspoken critic of Russia.