Biography of Helmut Kohl
Helmut Josef Michael Kohl (born 3 April 1930) is a German conservative politician and statesman. He was Chancellor of Germany from 1982 to 1998 (of West Germany between 1982 and 1990 and of the reunited Germany between 1990 and 1998) and the chairman of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) from 1973 to 1998. His 16-year tenure was the longest of any German chancellor since Otto von Bismarck and oversaw the end of the Cold War and the German reunification. Kohl is widely regarded as the main architect of the German reunification and, together with French President François Mitterrand, the Maastricht Treaty, which established the European Union.
Kohl and Mitterrand were the joint recipients of the Charlemagne Prize in 1988. In 1998, Kohl was named Honorary Citizen of Europe by the European heads of state or government for his extraordinary work for European integration and cooperation, an honour previously only bestowed on Jean Monnet. In 1996, he won the prestigious Prince of Asturias Award in International Cooperation.
Kohl has been described as "the greatest European leader of the second half of the 20th century" by former U.S. Presidents George H. W. Bush and Bill Clinton.