Helmut Kohl

Chancellor of West Germany and reunified Germany (1930–2017)

Helmut Josef Michael Kohl (3 April 1930 – 16 June 2017) was a German politician of the CDU party. He was the last Chancellor of West Germany, and he stayed in office after reunification as the first Chancellor of a united Germany.

Helmut Kohl
Kohl in 1996
Chancellor of Germany
(West Germany until 1990)
In office
1 October 1982 – 27 October 1998[a]
PresidentKarl Carstens
Richard von Weizsäcker
Roman Herzog
Vice ChancellorHans-Dietrich Genscher
Jürgen Möllemann
Klaus Kinkel
Preceded byHelmut Schmidt
Succeeded byGerhard Schröder
Leader of the Christian Democratic Union
In office
12 June 1973 – 7 November 1998
General SecretaryKurt Biedenkopf
Heiner Geißler
Volker Rühe
Peter Hintze
Preceded byRainer Barzel
Succeeded byWolfgang Schäuble
Leader of the CDU/CSU Group in the Bundestag
In office
13 December 1976 – 4 October 1982
First DeputyFriedrich Zimmermann
Preceded byKarl Carstens
Succeeded byAlfred Dregger
Minister President of Rhineland-Palatinate
In office
19 May 1969 – 2 December 1976
DeputyOtto Meyer
Preceded byPeter Altmeier
Succeeded byBernhard Vogel
Member of the Bundestag
for Rhineland-Palatinate
In office
26 October 1998 – 17 October 2002
ConstituencyParty list
In office
14 December 1976 – 20 December 1990
ConstituencyParty list
Member of the Bundestag
for Ludwigshafen/Frankenthal
In office
20 December 1990 – 26 October 1998
Preceded byManfred Reimann
Succeeded byDoris Barnett
Personal details
Helmut Josef Michael Kohl

(1930-04-03)3 April 1930
Ludwigshafen, Bavaria, Weimar Republic
Died16 June 2017(2017-06-16) (aged 87)
Ludwigshafen, Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany
Resting placeCathedral Chapter Cemetery, Speyer
Political partyChristian Democratic Union
Hannelore Renner
(m. 1960; died 2001)

Maike Richter (m. 2008)
Alma materHeidelberg University
Helmut Kohl

From 1969 to 1976 he was the Minister President of the state of Rhineland-Palatinate and from 1982 to 1998 Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany. Kohl helped to arrange the process of German reunification and participated considerably in the European unity process. A pro-EU conservative, he was often compared to Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher, two other leaders with similar views in the 1980s. In 1998, he retired as Chancellor, as the SPD won the election. His replacement was Gerhard Schröeder.

His involvement with the CDU donation affair, and in particular offences against party law is open to question.

Kohl died on the morning of 16 June 2017 in his hometown of Ludwigshafen, aged 87.[1]

References change

  1. "Obituary: Helmut Kohl". BBC News. 16 June 2017.


  1. From 1 October 1982 to 2 October 1990, Helmut Kohl was Federal Chancellor of West Germany only. From 3 October 1990 until 27 October 1998, he was Federal Chancellor of the reunified Germany.