He was born to his father’s second wife, Elizabeth Le Roy, whom he wed in 1719 when she was 19 years old and he 72. When François-André was born, his father was 79 years old; he died 4 years later and left his son fatherless.
He was also regarded as the best chess player of his age.
Philidor's book Analyse du jeu des Échecs was considered a standard chess manual for at least a century.
He was commonly referred to as André Danican Philidor during his lifetime.