Germany's former chancellor Helmut Kohl dies at 87

Germany’s former chancellor Helmut Kohl died on Friday, German newspaper Bild reports. He was 87 years old.

Kohl served as chancellor from 1982 to 1998, representing the Christian Democratic Union party.

He was the first chancellor after the fall of the Berlin Wall and oversaw the reunification of West and East Germany in 1990. He was often described as the father of German reunification. He received the Charlemagne Award for efforts towards European unification in 1988.

Kohl was born on April 30, 1930, in Ludwigshafen am Rhine. He attended the University of Frankfurt, and later, received his Ph.D in 1958 from the University of Heidelberg.

Kohl left active politics in 2002, following a criminal investigation into illegal fundraising. The investigation was closed after Kohl paid a fine of 300,000 German marks. He suffered impaired speech and used a wheel after falling and fracturing his hip at his house in 2008, according to The Guardian.

In April, the former German leader was awarded €1 million in damages over an unauthorised biography. The book, published in 2014, was based on recorded conversations between Kohl and ghostwriter Heribert Schwan between 2001 and 2002, according to The Guardian. Kohl sued Schwan, publisher Random House, and author Tilman Jens for breaching his trust, and he was successful in banning further reprints of the book in 2015, according to CNN, a ruling that was upheld last month.

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