Angela Merkel Fast Facts – CNN

In photos: The life and career of Angela Merkel

German Chancellor Angela Merkel speaks to delegates of her political party, the Christian Democratic Union, in February 2018.

In photos: The life and career of Angela Merkel

Merkel came to be in Hamburg, West Germany, in 1954, but she grew up in East Germany. Her father, Horst Kasner, was a Lutheran minister and her mother, Herlind, was an English teacher.

In photos: The life and career of Angela Merkel

Merkel, left, attends a New Year’s Eve party with friends in Berlin in 1972. In 1977, at the age of 23, she married her first husband, Ulrich Merkel. They divorced in 1982, but she kept the name.

In photos: The life and career of Angela Merkel

Merkel poses with her siblings, Marcus and Irene Kasner.

In photos: The life and career of Angela Merkel

Merkel visits a children’s home during her campaign becoming a member of the Bundestag, Germany’s parliament, in 1990. Before turning to politics, Merkel had trained as a physician. She was also a spokeswoman for the “Democratic Awakening,” East Germany’s opposition movement before reunification.

In photos: The life and career of Angela Merkel

A month after being elected to the Bundestag, Merkel was appointed to Germany’s Cabinet in January 1991. Chancellor Helmut Kohl named her Minister for Women and Youth.

In photos: The life and career of Angela Merkel

Merkel discusses Kohl throughout a conference of the Christian Democratic Union, their political party, in 1991. At the time, Merkel was a deputy chairwoman for the party.

In photos: The life and career of Angela Merkel

Merkel changed Cabinet positions in 1994, becoming Minister of the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety. Here, she visits a water-control station in Bad Honnef, Germany, in 1995.

In photos: The life and career of Angela Merkel

Merkel, as the country’s leader on environmental problems, irons wrapping paper showing how it could be recycled.

In photos: The life and career of Angela Merkel

Merkel and Health Minister Horst Seehofer attend a Cabinet meeting in 1995.

In photos: The life and career of Angela Merkel

Merkel sits in a “strandkorb,” or beach basket, within an undated photo. In 2000, Merkel became the Christian Democratic Union’s first female chairperson. It was the opposition party at the time.

In photos: The life and career of Angela Merkel

Merkel, left, attends the opening of the Wagner Festival, an annual music festival in Bayreuth, Germany, in 2001.

In photos: The life and career of Angela Merkel

Merkel spends element of her summer in Langballig, Germany, in 2002.

In photos: The life and career of Angela Merkel

Merkel meets Russian President Vladimir Putin in 2002, one of many meetings they would have over the years. Merkel speaks Russian fluently, while Putin speaks German.

In photos: The life and career of Angela Merkel

Merkel speaks in Nuremberg, Germany, before federal elections in 2005.

In photos: The life and career of Angela Merkel

Merkel is sworn in as Germany’s first female chancellor in November 2005.

In photos: The life and career of Angela Merkel

Merkel visits the White House in January 2006. A few days later she also visited the Kremlin in Russia.

In photos: The life and career of Angela Merkel

US President George W. Bush exhibits a barrel of pickled herrings that he was presented after arriving in Stralsund, Germany, in July 2006.

In photos: The life and career of Angela Merkel

Merkel visits troops stationed in Turkey in February 2013. Later that year she was re-elected for a third term.

In photos: The life and career of Angela Merkel

Merkel and her husband, Joachim Sauer, walk with US President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama before a dinner in Berlin in June 2013. Merkel and Sauer have been married since 1998.

In photos: The life and career of Angela Merkel

Merkel speaks to Obama on the sidelines of a G7 summit near Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, in June 2015.

In photos: The life and career of Angela Merkel

Merkel was named Time magazine’s Person of the Year in 2015. Time Editor-at-Large Karl Vick described her as “the de factos leader of the European Union” by virtue of being leader of the EU’s largest and most economically powerful member state. Twice that year, he said, the EU had faced “existential crises” that Merkel had taken the lead in navigating — first the Greek debt crisis faced by the eurozone, and the ongoing migrant crisis.

In photos: The life and career of Angela Merkel

Merkel and Obama test a virtual-reality headset at a trade fair in Hanover, Germany, in April 2016.

In photos: The life and career of Angela Merkel

Merkel and US President Donald Trump hold a joint news conference at the White House in March 2017.

In photos: The life and career of Angela Merkel

Merkel raises her glass during a toast at the Trudering Festival in Munich, Germany, in May 2017.

In photos: The life and career of Angela Merkel

Merkel records her annual televised New Year’s address in December 2017.

In photos: The life and career of Angela Merkel

In photos: The life and career of Angela Merkel

In photos: The life and career of Angela Merkel

In this handout photo given by the German Government Press Office in July 2018, Merkel meets a newborn calf during a stop by at the Trede family dairy farm in Nienborstel, Germany.

In photos: The life and career of Angela Merkel

Merkel offers flowers to Volker Bouffier, their state premier of Hesse and the deputy chairman of the Christian Democratic Union, ahead of a celebration leadership meeting in October 2018. The day before, her coalition government suffered heavy losses in an integral regional election in Hesse.

In photos: The life and career of Angela Merkel

Merkel speaks at a debate on the ongoing future of Europe throughout a plenary session at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France, in November 2018. Merkel made a require a future European army and for a European Security Council that will centralize defense and security policy on the continent.

In photos: The life and career of Angela Merkel

Merkel touches the scepter of a Carnival prince throughout the annual Carnival reception in Berlin in February 2019.

In photos: The life and career of Angela Merkel

Merkel poses for photos with students as she visits a secondary school in Berlin in April 2019.

In photos: The life and career of Angela Merkel

Merkel talks with European Council President Donald Tusk and British Prime Minister Theresa May at a roundtable meeting in Brussels, Belgium, in April 2019. May was in Brussels to formally present her case for a short Brexit delay.

In photos: The life and career of Angela Merkel

Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II, accompanied by Prime Minister Theresa May, greets Merkel in Portsmouth, England, in June 2019. It was before an event marking the 75th anniversary of the D-Day invasion.

In photos: The life and career of Angela Merkel

In photos: The life and career of Angela Merkel