Angela Dorothea Kasner, better known as Angela Merkel, was born in Hamburg, West Germany, on July 17, 1954. Trained as a physicist, Merkel entered politics after the 1989 fall of the Berlin Wall. Rising to the position of chairwoman of the Christian Democratic Union party, Merkel became Germany’s first female chancellor, and one of the leading figures of the European Union, following the 2005 national elections.
Angela Merkel is the most powerful woman in the world, the leader of the country that drives the European economy. She’s also a soccer-loving scientist who is reportedly afraid of dogs.
Today, on her 63rd birthday, let’s read some lesser-known facts about her:
1. For as many as 10 times, Forbes named her as the “Most Powerful Woman in the World”. She has also been twice ranked second, after Vladimir Putin in the Forbes’s list of “The World’s Most Powerful Person,” which is considered to be the highest ranking ever achieved by a woman
2. In the year 2015, she was named as the Person of Year by Time’s magazine, with the cover calling her as the “Chancellor of the Free World.” Since then, she has been often described as the “Leader of the Free World”
3. Merkel, from the time of being the Leader of the Opposition party, has been advocating German-American friendship, and has even been in a good relation with the US presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama
4. Merkel is longest-serving incumbent head of government in the history of European Union, as of March 2014
5. German supporters call her Mutti, which means “Mommy”
6. She has a degree in physics and a doctorate in quantum chemistry, and some say her success as a politician comes from her scientific, analytic approach to situations. She went on to work as a research scientist, as the only woman in the theoretical chemistry section at the East German Academy of Sciences
7. Initially, Merkel wanted to become a teacher for Russian language and physics. In the end, she became a physicist and holds a PhD from University of Leipzig. In her dissertation, Merkel investigated the influence of the spatial correlation in bimolecular elementary reactions in dense media and received the mark magna cum laude