Claire Chevrillon was born to a family of upper-class, assimilated French Jews. Her father was André Chevrillon, a famous writer and literary critic and a member of the Académie française. During the German Occupation of World War II, she joined the French Resistance, working in the code service, where she encrypted and sent messages to the Free French government in London. She was betrayed to the Nazis in 1943 and spent four months in the Fresnes prison, but survived. After the war, she returned to her career as an English teacher. Her memoir Une Résistance ordinaire (An Ordinary Resistance), was published in 1999. She was the subject of the book Code Name Christiane Clouet: A Woman in the French Resistance by Claire Chevrillon, Jane Kielty Stott and John F. Sweets (1995).