Duclos was the son of an innkeeper and learned the trade of confectioner. Duclos fought in the First World War and was wounded in the Battle of Verdun. Later he became the Chemin des Dames in German captivity.
Since 1919, Duclos was one of a bakers union, whose secretary he was from 1925 to 1939. In 1920 he joined the newly founded Communist Party (PCF ), in the Central Committee, he was elected in 1926.
In the elections to the French Chamber of Deputies in 1926, he won in his constituency, the 20th arrondissement of Paris, against the Social Democrats Léon Blum; In 1936, he was Vice President of the National Assembly.
From the PCF Duclos was sent to congresses of the Comintern from 1935 he was a member of the Executive Committee ( ECCI ).
Together with Pierre Villon Duclos founded the National Front, the political representation of the Francs- Tireurs et Partisans (FTP), the military arm of the Resistance. He was a principal organizer of the Paris Uprising of 1944.
In the French presidential elections in 1969 Duclos won with 21.27 %, the highest ever achieved by a Communist candidate result.
1971 Jacques Duclos was awarded the Karl Marx Order of the GDR.
From 1976 to 1992, in Berlin- Lichtenberg (then East Berlin) location Möllendorffstraße was ( again today after the Prussian Field Marshal Wichard von Möllendorff named) Jacques Duclos Street. A place in Cottbus- Sandow bears his name.
- Bataille pour la République, 1947
- Écrits de prison, 1952
- « À l' assaut du ciel ". La Commune de Paris annonciatrice d' un monde nouveau (1961 - revue et augmentée 1974)
- L' avenir de la démocratie, Paris, Editions Sociales, 1962
- Gaullisme, technographie, corporatisme, 1963
- De Napoléon III à de Gaulle, 1964
- La Première International, 1964
- Octobre 1917 vu de France, 1967
- Anarchistes d' here et d'aujourd'hui, 1968
- Qui sont donc les communistes? Éditions Epi, 1971
- Mémoires, 6 tomes (7 volumes ), Fayard, 1968 to 1973; German (excerpts): memoir (3 volumes, ÜBS by Otto Distler. ) Dietz, Berlin (East), 1973/1975
- Bakounine et Marx. Ombre et lumière, Plon, 1974
- Ce que je crois, Grasset, 1974