Former German Chancellor Helmut Kohl, one of the pioneer conservative leaders of the 20th Century, who was credited with reuniting Germany after the fall of the Berlin Wall, died at the age of 87 due to natural causes, Friday.
Kohl was born in Ludwigshafen, Germany in April 1930. After receiving a doctorate degree from Heidelberg University, Helmut began his political career as the leader of the Christian Democratic Union party in 1960, Biography reported.
He went on to become the Minister-President of Rhineland-Palatinate from 1969 to 1976.
Kohl has been a part of both the divided Germany as well as the reunited Germany. He has served as the Chancellor of West Germany from 1982 to 1990 and reunited Germany from 1990 to 1998. He also witnessed the end of Cold War.
In 2008, Kohl married his second wife, Maike Richter. He was previously married to Hannelore Renner in 1960, who committed suicide due to an unbearable medical condition. He has two sons from his first marriage, Walter and Peter Kohl.
Apart from a huge political legacy, Kohl left behind a net worth, estimated at $1.5 million, Celebrity Net Worth reported.
Kohl has also received an array of awards for his political achievements. In 1988, Kohl and former French president François Mitterrand received the Charlemagne Prize. Both the then leaders are believed to be responsible for the establishment of the European Union (EU).
Kohl was also awarded Prince of Asturias Award for International Cooperation (1996) and Honorary Citizen of Europe (1998).
Diplomatic relations between Germany and the United States were at an all-time high at the time when Kohl led his country. Former Presidents Bill Clinton and George H.W. Bush have praised Kohl, calling him "the greatest European leader of the second half of the 20th century".
In fact, it was Kohl’s conscious effort to mend relations with the superpowers of the world in order to forge alliances with anti-communist Western allies and the leaders of the collapsing Soviet Union.
Kohl lobbied heavily for the introduction of Euro, which was implemented in 1999 and went on to become a currency that currently unites 19 countries in Europe, BBC reported.
Present leaders of the world have expressed their condolences on the death of Germany’s revolutionary leader, who led his country for 16 long years.
“The longest serving Chancellor in modern German history, Chancellor Kohl was a friend and ally to the United States as he led the Federal Republic of Germany through sixteen pivotal years,” President Donald Trump said in a statement, The Hill reported. “He was not only the father of German reunification, but also an advocate for Europe and the transatlantic relationship. The world has benefited from his vision and efforts. His legacy will live on.”
“We feel that a life has ended and he who lived it will go down in history,” said German Chancellor Angela Merkel. “In this moment, I am thinking with great respect and great gratitude on that life and work."
"I was lucky to communicate with Helmut Kohl in person. I sincerely admired his wisdom and ability to take balanced and forward-thinking decisions even amid the knottiest situations," Russian President Vladimir Putin said, Tass reported. "He will be remembered in Russia as a staunch advocate of friendly relations between our countries, as a person who made an enormous contribution to the strengthening of mutually beneficial bilateral partnership and good neighborhood."
Also, European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker has ordered flags at EU institutions to be flown at half-mast in Kohl’s honor.