Johanna Quandt, a major shareholder in automaker BMW and one of Germany's richest women has died. She was 89.

German news agency dpa reported Wednesday that she died in her home in the town Bad Homburg on Monday. No cause of death was given.

Quandt started working for industrialist Herbert Quandt in the 1950s and got married to him in 1960. After his death in 1982, she took over responsibilities on the board of one of the world's leading luxury car makers. Together with her children Stefan Quandt and Susanne Klatten, she inherited substantial stakes in the company. She passed on her responsibilities at BMW to her children in 1997.

Quandt was also known for her philanthropic engagements, helping children with cancer, supporting journalists and funding scientific research.