In action movies, heroes and villains are hard to kill. In real life, it's rare that someone escapes a premeditated attempt on their life. It does happen, though, and sometimes quite miraculously.

Fifty years ago, on August 22, 1962, OAS (Organisation de l'armée secrète) conspirators attempted to assassinate French president Charles de Gaulle because they believed his ceding of Algeria to Algerian nationalists betrayed France. While de Gaulle and his wife were traveling from Elysee Palace to Orly Airport, attackers fired 140 bullets at their Citroën DS, killing two of the president's motorcycle bodyguards and blowing out all four of the vehicle's tires. Thanks to the car's impressive suspension system, the president's driver was able to accelerate out of a potentially fatal front-wheel skid, and the de Gaulles survived by ducking the hail of bullets.

De Gaulle's near-death experience is one of the closest calls in history, but it isn't the only time a notable historical figure lived through a stare down with the Grim Reaper. In honor of his anniversary, Complex marvels at The 10 Craziest Failed Assassination Attempts.

Written by Tanya Ghahremani (@tanyaghahremani)

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