He was the son of Pierre-Edouard Tixier, a blacksmith, and Marie-Françoise Derosier. Destined for a career in education, he studied at the Ecole Normale (teacher training college) at Châteauroux and became a teacher of technical subjects. In August 1914, he was enlisted as a reserve officer and served in the First World War. Shortly after being called up, he was wounded in the Ardennes and underwent the amputation of his left arm. He returned to his teaching career in August 1915 before becoming a senior teacher at the École supérieure professionnelle in the town of Albi.
Active in the Socialist Party, he met Albert Thomas, and held beginning in 1920 in various offices within the International Labour Office in Geneva, including that of CEO in 1936. On 20 June 1940, with Professor Edgard Milhaud, and Jean-Amédée Weber, he sends a telegram to Marshal Petain in protest, against the request for an armistice, and asks for the continuation of the war alongside the British.
Using with false papers, he sailed for the United States, via Spain and Portugal, as representative of the International Labour Office. He joined General de Gaulle, who charged him in November 1941, to represent the Free France in Washington, where he is appreciated by the Roosevelt administration. He serves in the French Committee of National Liberation of Algeria the position of Commissioner of Labor and Social Welfare from 7 June 1943 to 9 November 1943, and Social Affairs from 9 November 1943 to 9 September 1944. He became the first Minister of Social Affairs. He was appointed interior minister in September 1944, in the Provisional Government of the French General de Gaulle, a post he held until January 1946. His task is to restore the republican legality in disorganized France.
He was a co-signer of the Ordinance of 4 October 1945 which established Social Security. He founded the Department of the Interior, the Directorate of Territorial Surveillance (DST) and the Republican Security Companies (CRS). He supported the General de Gaulle, along with Robert Lacoste, the Minister of Production, during his visit to Oradour-sur-Glane on 5 March 1945. He was then elected in September 1945, to the General Council of the Township Bessines-sur-Gartempe, then in October 1945, Socialist member of the Haute-Vienne in the First National Constituent Assembly. He chaired the General Council of Haute-Vienne.
He was buried in Folles.