Self-employed, Vice-President of the German Bundestag
Born on 24 November 1940 in Lich, Giessen county; Protestant; married, three children.
Obtained Abitur (higher education entrance qualification) in 1960. Military service. Apprenticeship in a bank. In 1964 passed examination as a sales assistant. Studied economics and agriculture at the Universities of Frankfurt, Giessen and Kansas State, USA. In 1969 graduated in economics and in 1975 obtained doctorate in agriculture.
From 1970 to 1973 worked as a research assistant at the Institute of Farm Economics of the University of Giessen. From 1973 to 1976 personal assistant to Liselotte Funcke, Vice-President of the German Bundestag. Entrepreneur from 1976 to 1984.
Joined the Free Democratic Party (FDP) in 1971; federal treasurer of the FDP from 1987 to May 1999 and since September 2004.
Member of the German Bundestag since 1980; deputy chairman of the FDP parliamentary group from 1985 to 1991, chairman of the FDP parliamentary group from 1991 to 1998; Vice-President of the German Bundestag since 26 October 1998.