The German-born Hessel, who became a naturalised French citizen in 1939, was a prominent Resistance figure during World War II. He was arrested by the Gestapo and later moved to the Buchenwald and Dora concentration camps.
After the end of the war, Hessel was involved in editing the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. He also took up the cause of illegal immigrants and championed the rights of the downtrodden.
"Time for Outrage" sold more than 4.5 million copies in 35 countries.
His best-selling work argues that the French need to again become outraged like those who participated in the Resistance under General Charles De Gaulle during World War II.
His reasons for personal outrage included the growing chasm between the haves and have-nots, France's treatment of its illegal immigrants and the abuse of the environment.