The father of German unification, Helmut Kohl, has died

Posted at 2:53 PM, Jun 16, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-16 15:08:59-04

Helmut Kohl, the man credited with uniting East Germany and West Germany, has died. He was 87 years old.

Kohl first served as the chancellor of West Germany beginning in 1982. When the Berlin Wall fell in 1989, he called for the two sides to reunite.

Kohl faced opposition from Great Britain and Poland, but he got his wish for unity by getting U.S. President George H.W. Bush and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev on board.

On Oct. 3, 1990, East and West Germany officially came together, and Kohl became its first chancellor, serving till 1998.

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His combined 16 years as German chancellor made Kohl the longest-serving one of the 20th century.

During his time as leader, Kohl was also one of the main architects behind the adoption of the euro as a common currency.

Kohl leaves behind his wife and two children from a previous marriage.

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