Chancellor Turns 65: Angela Merkel Will Spend Her Birthday Working

Today marks the 65th birthday of Chancellor Angela Merkel who has been leading the country of Germany in its government's highest position since 2005. For her 65th turn around the sun, we take a look back at her fascinating career and life.

Early Life

Angela Dorothea Merkel was born on July 17, 1954, in Hamburg to a Lutheran minister father and English teacher mother. Angela grew up in a turbulent time in German history, just after World War II, reaching her adolescence in the middle of the Cold War. She became a trained Physicist and Chemist got her Ph.D. in 1986.

She got her start in politics by being elected in the German "Bundestag" in 1990 and was later named the Minister of Women and Young People by Chancellor Helmut Kohl, the man responsible for German reunification. Kohl took her under his wing and became a sort of mentor for the young politician.

Rise To The Top

Merkel's career only went up from there as she was named the first female chairperson of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) in 2000, and a mere five years later, the first female Chancellor of Germany. Now at 65 years old, Merkel has been re-elected a whopping four times as Chancellor, but has announced that she will not be seeking an additional term when hers is up in 2021.

This remarkable woman has been on the world stage for decades, but here are some facts that you might not already know about her:

She's a big football fan

Angela Merkel is a genuine football fan and the Telegraph reports that she's known to listen to games in the Bundestag. She took time out of the 2012 G8 Summit to watch the Champions League final with other world leaders to see Chelsea and Bayern Munich go into an extra time shootout.

She speaks Russian fluently

Merkel learned Russian in her East German school when she was a youth and now is able to speak to Vladimir Putin in Russian on a fluent level. She had even won national awards for her high level of proficiency, reports the New Statesman

Her International Standing Is Matchless

  • She has been named the Forbes Most Powerful Woman 12 times.
  • She was Time's 2015 Person of the Year.
  • She is among Western Europe's longest-serving leaders according to The New York Times.
  • She convened the first UN Climate Change Conference in Berlin in 1995 and was the leader of the negotiation of the Kyoto Protocol, the first global climate protection treaty, reports the New Statesman.

Her Nicknames Are Unusual

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The German public knows her today as the "Mutti der Nation," which translates into "Mommy of the nation." It is a progression from what her mentor Helmut Kohl dubbed her: "Mein Mädchen" which means "My little girl." She was also known as an "Ossi" or Eastern German after spending most of her life in Berlin.

Join us in wishing Angela Merkel a very happy birthday! Pass this article along to others so they get to know this fascinating woman.