Kahane attended the École normale supérieure and obtained the agrégation of mathematics in 1949. He then worked for the CNRS from 1949 to 1954, first as an intern and then as a research assistant. He defended his PhD in 1954; his advisor was Szolem Mandelbrojt.
He was assistant professor, then professor of mathematics in Montpellier from 1954 to 1961. Since then, he has been professor until his retirement in 1994, then professor emeritus at the Université de Paris-Sud in Orsay.
He was elected corresponding member of the French Academy of Sciences in 1982 and full member in 1998. In 2002 he was elevated to the rank of commander in the order of the Légion d'Honneur. In 2012 he became a fellow of the American Mathematical Society.
- Ministerial decision of April 6, 1994
- Decree of January 5, 1999
- Decree of March 29, 2002
- List of Fellows of the American Mathematical Society, retrieved 2013-01-27.
- Jean-Pierre Kahane at the Mathematics Genealogy Project
- (French) Bio from the French Academy of Sciences
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