Angela Merkel, German Chancellor, to step down in 2021

10/29/2018 World


In photos: The life and career of Angela Merkel

German Chancellor and Chairwoman of Germany’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU) Angela Merkel speaks to delegates at the 30th CDU party congress on February 26, in Berlin, Germany. Merkel became the first female Chancellor of Germany in 2005, and is currently serving in her fourth term.

In photos: The life and career of Angela Merkel

Merkel was born 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 to become a member of the Bundestag, Germany’s parliament, in 1990. Before turning to politics, Merkel had trained as a physicist. 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 looks at Kohl during 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 issues, irons wrapping paper to show how it can 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, in 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 part 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, ahead of 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 shows off a barrel of pickled herrings 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 facto 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 then 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

Angela Merkel records her annual televised New Year’s address on December 20, 2017 in Berlin.

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 provided by the German Government Press Office, Merkel meets a newborn calf during a visit to the Trede family dairy farm in Nienborstel, Germany, on July 19.

In photos: The life and career of Angela Merkel