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Famous People from Germany
(1969-01-03 - )
Michael Schumacher is the most successful pilot in the history of Formula One and one of the greatest sports figures sport has ever seen. The German legend holds a total of 31 different records in Formula One with his seven titles in 1994, 1995, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004 and 2005, 91 victories achieved in 250 races and 1,369 points scored. Furthermore, Schumacher is unsurpassed in terms of pole positions, fastest laps and most races won in one season. Michael Schumacher started his racing career in 1981 and became Germany’s youngest karting driver. Later he passed through the German and European kart championships, Formula Ford and Formula 3, before moving to Formula One in 1991. During his long career in F1 Schumacher represented three teams – Jordan, Benetton and Ferrari. He was elected by F1 fans as the most popular driver. Michael turned into a legend for Italian fans with his five consecutive world titles won with Ferrari. Among his countless prizes, the two “German Sportsman of the Year” and two “Laureus World Sportsman of the Year” awards should be mentioned. After the 2006 season, the greatest Formula One driver of all times retired from active sport. Currently he is ambassador for UNESCO and is engaged in numerous charity activities.
Franz Anton Beckenbauer
(1945-09-11 - )
Franz Beckenbauer is the greatest German football player and is regarded as one of the brightest stars the game has ever seen. His extraordinary qualities have gained him the nickname “The Kaiser”, or “emperor”, by which he is known all over the world. Beckenbauer started his professional career in Bayern Munich in 1964 and for the next 13 years made 427 appearances and scored 60 goals. With his team the Kaiser won almost all possible trophies, including three consecutive European Cups in 1974, 1975 and 1976. After his best years in Bayern, Beckenbauer moved to the USA, where he spent four seasons with the New York Cosmos and won three titles with them. In 1980 he returned to the Bundesliga in the team of Hamburger SV and after two years went back overseas to Cosmos for one final season. In 1983 Kaiser Franz put an end to his fabulous career as player. He is considered to have invented the role of the modern libero, thus exerting immense influence on the development of the most popular game. As recognition for his achievements, Beckenbauer became second in the election of the European Player of the Century and third in the World Player of the Century election. He has enjoyed great successes off the football pitch as well, leading the German national team to the World Cup gold medals as a coach in 1990. Later the football legend became coach of Bayern Munich and currently he is president of the club. Meanwhile, Franz Beckenbauer chaired the organizing committee of the Germany 2006 World Cup.
Oliver Rolf Kahn
(1969-06-15 - )
Oliver Kahn is among the best goalkeepers Germany has ever had and one of the most successful players in the history of German football. The legendary footballer started his professional career in 1987 with the team of his hometown Karlsruhe. After seven years and 128 appearances, Kahn moved to Bayern Munich in 1994. With this team he achieved his greatest successes, winning practically all possible trophies. Oliver Kahn received a number of individual awards as well, culminating in the three World’s Best Goalkeeper and four Best European Goalkeeper awards. In addition, Kahn was awarded the Golden Ball as the best player on the 2002 World Cup, being the only goalkeeper ever to receive this prize. After more than 400 appearances with Bayern Munich and 86 caps for the German national team, the great goalkeeper announced his withdrawal in May 2008. Apart from his fabulous football career, Kahn has established himself as one of the most famous German celebrities with his numerous appearances in TV commercials and the avalanche of rumors swirling around his personal life.
Boris Franz Becker
(1967-11-22 - )
Boris Becker is considered the greatest German tennis player ever. He entered the world of professional tennis with a bang, becoming the youngest Grand Slam champion in history at the age of 17 when he won the Wimbledon tournament. In his 15 years long career Becker won three times Wimbledon, two times the Australian Open and once the US Open. His highest achievement is the Olympic title from the games in Barcelona 1992, where he won the men’s doubles together with his compatriot Michael Stich. Boris Becker reached the top of the ATP ranking in 1991 and spent 12 weeks there. As acknowledgment for his successes Boris Becker was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame. Currently the former tennis player works as a commentator for BBC every year at the Wimbledon tournament. The legendary Becker is world-known not only for his sports achievements, but also for his personal life, including a tabloid page divorce with his wife, an illegitimate child and a conviction for tax evasion.
(1786-02-24 - 1859-12-16 )
Wilhelm Carl Grimm was born in Hanau in 1786, and followed his brother's Jacob's steps to the University of Marburg, where, from 1803, he studied law. In 1825 he married Henriette Dorothea Wild. After moving to the town of Göttingen in 1929, he became a junior librarian, and in 1837, he joined Wilhelm and five other university professors, known altogether as The Göttingen Seven, in the protest against the King of Hanover. Banned from the kingdom, the brothers eventually settled in Berlin. Wilhelm was an active lecturer as a professor. The Brothers Grimm started gathering German folk tales as early as 1803, and their first collection of 86, known as 'Children's and Household Tales', was published in 1812. Wilhelm died in Berlin and he is buried with his brother at the St. Matthäus Kirchhof Cemetery in Schöneberg. Before the Euro was introduced, the Grimms were depicted on the 1,000 Deutsche Mark banknote.
(1901-12-27 - 1992-05-06 )
, Address in Berlin: Leberstraße 65
She was the most magnetic actress, singer and a nightclub performer of the 1930s and 1940s and one of the most glamorous film stars ever. After appearing in a number of supporting roles, Dietrich got her first break when she was featured in Germany's first talking film 'The Blue Angel' (1930) directed by Josef von Sternberg. Then she worked her way to Hollywood, where she played the ultimate femme fatales in such films as 'Shanghai Express' (1934), 'The Scarlett Empress' (1934), 'The Devil is a Woman' (1935), 'Desire' (1936) and 'Destry Rides Again' (1939). In 1930 she got her first and only Oscar nomination for 'Morocco' . She became an American citizen in 1937. Dietrich later expanded her repertoire in the serious dramas 'Witness for the Prosecution' (1957), 'Touch of Evil' (1958) and 'Judgment at Nuremberg' (1961).
(1899-04-22 - 1977-07-02 )
, Address in Berlin: Kurfürstendamm
Nabokov was a Russian-born American novelist, critic, poet, translator and an acknowledged butterfly expert. He wrote masterfully in Russian as well as in English. 'Mashenka' or Mary
, his first novel, was published in 1926. He is also the author of novels such as 'Laughter in the Dark' (1933), 'nvitation to a Beheading' (1938), 'Look at the Harlequins!' (1974) and 'Strong Opinions' (1974). Though Nabokov's most popular book, 'Lolita' (1955), offended a lot of people, its literary style was critically acclaimed. The novel's obsessive protagonist Humbert Humbert and the maneuvering nymphet Lolita have come to be famous characters in 20th Century literature.
(1927-10-16 - )
While best known as a writer of novels, Grass is the author of essays, a couple of plays and tomes of poetry and is also a highly skilled lithographer. He is considered to be a prominent literary figure in post war Germany. It was with his first novel, 'The Tin Drum' which appeared in 1959, that he gained international attention. The novel, which was exquisitely adapted to film by Volker Schlondorff in 1979, is the first volume of the Danzig Trilogy which also contains 'Cat and Mouse' (1961) and 'Dog Years' (1963). Most of his work deals with the aftermath of Nazism and the ambiguities riddling his nation's past. In 1999 Grass received the Nobel Prize in Literature for his "frolicsome black fables" which "portray the forgotten face of history".