German Chancellor Angela Merkel speaks to delegates of her political party, the Christian Democratic Union, in 2018.
Sean Gallup/Getty Images

Angela Merkel's life in pictures

Updated 12:59 PM ET, Tue September 28, 2021

German Chancellor Angela Merkel speaks to delegates of her political party, the Christian Democratic Union, in 2018.
Sean Gallup/Getty Images

Angela Merkel, Germany's first female chancellor, has dominated European politics for much of this century.

But she did not seek a fifth term, and she will soon be stepping down after 16 years in office. Germany's federal election took place on September 26, and Merkel will leave once it becomes clear who her successor will be.

Merkel is also standing down as chairwoman of her party, the center-right Christian Democratic Union.