Friedel's great-grandfather Charles Friedel was an organic chemist and crystallographer at Paris-Sorbonne University, his grandfather Georges Friedel worked on liquid crystals, and his father Edmond Friedel was the director of the National School of Mines from 1937 to 1965.
Friedel attended the Cours Hattemer, a private school. He studied at the École Polytechnique from 1944 to 1946, and the École nationale supérieure des mines de Paris from 1946 to 1948. He graduated from the University of Paris with a Licence ès sciences degree in 1948, then studied at the Metallurgy Laboratory of the School of Mines with Charles Crussard. He graduated from Bristol University with a PhD in 1952, where he studied with Nevill F. Mott, and a Doctorat d'Etat in Paris in 1954.
He was assistant professor at Paris-Sorbonne University in 1956, then full professor of Solid State Physics (from 1959 to 1989) at the University of Paris-Sud where he co-founded the Laboratory of Solid State Physics. He authored more than 200 journal articles.
He was awarded the gold medal of the French CNRS in 1970, elected as a foreign member of the National Academy of Sciences, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences and the Royal Society. He received in 1964 the Holweck Prize and in 1988 the Von Hipple Award. He was appointed a Knight of the Légion d'Honneur, promoted to Officer and subsequently to Commander on 31 March 1989 and to Grand Officer on 30 December 1995. He was promoted to Grand Cross on 14 July 2013.
- Friedel, Jacques (1956). Les dislocations. Monographies de chimie physique (in French) (2nd ed.). Paris: Gauthier-Villars. Retrieved 2014-03-24.
- Friedel, Jacques (01/04/1994). Graine de mandarin (in French). Paris: Odile Jacob. ISBN 2738102549. Retrieved 2014-02-15. Check date values in:
- "Jacques Friedel introduction". Authors.library.caltech.edu. Retrieved 2011-11-21.
- "Quelques Anciens Celebres". Hattemer. Retrieved 2015-06-30.
- "the "Leonardo da Vinci" Award 2010". Eurasc. Retrieved 2011-11-21.
- "Members of the Kungliga Vetenskapsakademien".
- "Laboratoire de Physique des Solides - UMR 8502 - Jacques Friedel". Lps.u-psud.fr. Retrieved 2011-11-21.
- "1988 Von Hippel Award, Materials Research Society".
- DECRET ORDRE DE LA LEGION D'HONNEUR Décret du 30 décembre 1995 portant élévation à la dignité de grand officier
- Décret du 12 juillet 2013 portant élévation aux dignités de grand'croix et de grand officier (fr)
- Media related to Jacques Friedel at Wikimedia Commons