Angela Merkel Turns 60
Published 16 July 2014
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.
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.
Angela Merkel, newly elected Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party leader, at the end of a CDU party convention in Essen in April 2000.
Christian Democrat leader Angela Merkel sworn in as chancellor in parliament in Berlin on November 22, 2005. Merkel, 51, became Germany's first chancellor to have grown up in the ex-communist east.
Angela Merkel, German chancellor and leader of the conservative Christian Democratic Union party (CDU), smiles as she addresses a news conference at the CDU party headquarters in September 2009 in Berlin.
Chancellor Angela Merkel sports a flak jacket after arriving in the Afghan city of Mazar-e Sharif in May 2013 to meet with German soldiers.
Angela Merkel drinks a beer after her speech in a beer tent in Munich in May 2013.
U.S. President Barack Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel gesture during a press conference at the Chancellery in Berlin in June 2013.
Merkel deliveres a lecture about the Berlin Wall at Heinrich Schliemann Gymnasium, a secondary school in Berlin, in August 2013.
Merkel stands in front of her election campaign tour bus before a CDU board meeting in Berlin in September 2013.
Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks to FIFA President Sepp Blatter and German Chancellor Angela Merkel during the 2014 World Cup final between Germany and Argentina at the Maracana stadium in Rio de Janeiro on July 13, 2014.
A wax likeness of German Chancellor Angela Merkel pictured in front of the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin on the occassion of her 60th birthday.