Profession: Chancellor of Germany
Why Famous: The longest serving head of government in Europe, Merkel has been the leader of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) since 2000 and the Chancellor of Germany since 2005.
She is the first woman to hold either office. Born in East Germany, Merkel entered politics in the wake of the revolutions of 1989, which brought down the Berlin Wall and with it the East German government.
Merkel's term has seen several crucial events in European Union history. She played a pivotal role in managing the financial crisis and is often referred to as "the decider." Her domestic policies have included initiatives on health care reform and renewable energy. Despite fierce criticism of her open-door policy during the migrant crisis, Merkel was re-elected for a fourth term.
- 1998-12-30 Chancellor of Germany Angela Merkel (44) weds quantum chemist Joachim Sauer (49) in Bonn, Germany
- 2005-10-10 Negotiations between the CDU/CSU and SPD in Germany conclude with the two parties agreeing to form a grand coalition with Angela Merkel as chancellor after both parties lost seats in the 2005 German federal election
- 2005-11-22 Angela Merkel becomes the first female Chancellor of Germany
- 2009-09-27 German Federal elections return Angela Merkel for her second term as Chancellor at head of centre-right coalition government
- 2012-10-09 25,000 people in Athens protest against German Chancellor Angela Merkel
- 2013-09-22 Angela Merkel and the Christian Democrats win a third term with their best result since 1990 in German Federal elections
- 2013-12-17 Angela Merkel is elected Chancellor of Germany for a third term
- 2014-03-10 German Chancellor Angela Merkel warns Russia's Vladimir Putin that making Crimea part of Russia is illegal and in violation of Ukraine's constitution
- 2015-10-21 German Chancellor Angela Merkel says German view of Holocaust will not change, after Benjamin Netanyahu says idea came from Mufti of Jerusalem
- 2015-12-09 German Chancellor Angela Merkel named Time Magazine's Person of the Year, for her handling of debt and refugee crises
- 2017-11-20 German Chancellor Angela Merkel announces that coalition talks to form a government have collapsed
- 2018-03-14 Angela Merkel sworn in for fourth term as German Chancellor, head of a coalition government, 171 days after the general election
- 2018-04-27 German leader Angela Merkel has a 1-day trip to Washington meeting US President Donald Trump
- 2018-10-29 German Chancellor Angela Merkel announces she will not seek re-election in 2021 and step down as party leader
- 2018-12-07 Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer is elected the new leader of Germany's Christian Democratic Union party, replacing Angela Merkel
- 2020-04-23 German Chancellor Angela Merkel warns this is "not the end phase but still just the beginning" of the COVID-19 pandemic
- 2021-01-16 Armin Laschet is elected leader of Germany's Christian Democrats (CDU), to replace long-serving leader Angela Merkel