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Angela Merkel Turns 60

German Chancellor Angela Merkel turned 60 on July 17. She was born Angela Dorothea Kasner in Hamburg but grew up in a small town near East Berlin, where her father served as a Lutheran pastor. Merkel earned a doctorate in physics and worked as a researcher at a scientific academy in Berlin. Her political career began in 1989 with the fall of the Berlin Wall. She became the first woman to lead the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and the first post-reunification chancellor to hail from the former East Germany.

Angela Merkel-Kasner (first row, circled) poses for a group photo at the 1971 Mathematics Olympiad in the Neubrandenburg district in the northeastern town of Teterow, East Germany.
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Angela Merkel-Kasner (first row, circled) poses for a group photo at the 1971 Mathematics Olympiad in the Neubrandenburg district in the northeastern town of Teterow, East Germany.

Angela Merkel (right) with her husband Joachim Sauer and friend Malgorzata Jeziorska at a summer school in Bachotek, Poland, in 1989.
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Angela Merkel (right) with her husband Joachim Sauer and friend Malgorzata Jeziorska at a summer school in Bachotek, Poland, in 1989.

Angela Merkel (left), then Germany's family and youth minister, talks with students visiting an international youth meeting in Bayreuth in August 1992.
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Angela Merkel (left), then Germany's family and youth minister, talks with students visiting an international youth meeting in Bayreuth in August 1992.

Angela Merkel, newly elected Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party leader, at the end of a CDU party convention in Essen in April 2000.
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Angela Merkel, newly elected Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party leader, at the end of a CDU party convention in Essen in April 2000.

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