Mother: Herlind Kasner, an English teacher
Marriages: Joachim Sauer (1998-present); Ulrich Merkel (1977-1982, divorced)
Education: University of Leipzig, B.S., 1978; German Academy of Sciences, Ph. D, 1986
Former Chancellor Helmut Kohl sometimes referred to her as "the girl."
She is a former physicist.
1978-1990 - Research associate at Zentralinstitut fur physikalische Chemie in Berlin.
1990 - Becomes Press Officer for Demokratischer Aufbruch (DA or Democratic Awakening).
December 1990 - Is elected to the German Bundestag.
Is named Minister of Women and Young People by Chancellor Helmut Kohl and becomes Deputy Chairperson of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU).
1994 - Minister of the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety.
1998 - General Secretary of the CDU.
April 10, 2000 - Becomes the first female chairperson of the CDU.
October 10, 2005 - Strikes a deal with Gerhard Schroeder's Social Democrats that will make her the first female Chancellor of Germany.
November 22, 2005 - Is sworn in as the first female chancellor of Germany.
January 13 and 16, 2006 -
Meets President George W. Bush
at the White House and President Vladimir Putin
at the Kremlin.
April 30, 2008 - Receives the Charlemagne Prize, the "Citizens' Prize for Services to European Unity."
June 26, 2009 -
Makes first visit to the United States under President Barack Obama's
September 27, 2009 - Is re-elected chancellor of Germany.
February 15, 2011 - Receives the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Obama.
June 17, 2011 -
Meets with French President Nicholas Sarkozy
to discuss a potential Greek bailout plan.
December 5, 2011 -
Meets with Sarkozy to announce their proposed plan to impose fiscal discipline on members of the European Union
September 22, 2013 -
Merkel is re-elected chancellor of Germany.
October 25, 2013 - In the wake of reports that the U.S. National Security Agency eavesdropped on her cell phone, an angry Merkel says, "true change is necessary," and "spying among friends is never acceptable."
December 17, 2013 -
Is sworn in for a third term as chancellor of Germany.
December 9, 2015 - Is named Person of the Year by Time magazine.