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Angela Merkel is a German politician best known as the first female chancellor of Germany and one of the architects of the European Union.
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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.
German stateswoman and chancellor Angela Merkel was born July 17, 1954 in Hamburg, Germany. The daughter of a Lutheran pastor and teacher, Merkel grew up in a rural area north of Berlin in the then German Democratic Republic. She studied physics at the University of Leipzig, earning a doctorate in 1978, and later worked as a chemist at the Central Institute for Physical Chemistry, Academy of Sciences (1978–1990).
In 1990 she joined the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) political party and soon after was appointed to Helmut Kohl's cabinet as minister for women and youth. Following his defeat in the 1998 general election, she was named Secretary-General of the CDU. She was chosen party leader in 2000 and ran unsuccessfully for chancellor in 2002. In the 2005 election she narrowly defeated Chancellor Gerhard Schröder, winning by just three seats, and after the CDU agreed a coalition deal with the Social Democrats (SPD), she was declared Germany's first female chancellor. Merkel is also the first former citizen of the German Democratic Republic to lead the reunited Germany and the first woman to lead Germany since it became a modern nation-state in 1871.
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Aside from their gender, female leaders don't have much else in common. Some have brought peace to troubled lands, while others have strewn discontent. Some have been competent or brilliant, others inept or corrupt. They come from political positions ranging from arch-conservative to ultra-leftist and represent all the world's religions.
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