World

Helmut Schmidt, chancellor who guided West Germany through turbulent 1970s, dies at age 96

  • FILE - In this April 2, 2009 file photo former German Chancellor Helmut Schmidt makes a gesture during a discussion hosted by the ECB in Frankfurt, central Germany. Helmut Schmidt died Nov. 10, 2015. He was 96. (AP Photo/Daniel Roland, file)

    FILE - In this April 2, 2009 file photo former German Chancellor Helmut Schmidt makes a gesture during a discussion hosted by the ECB in Frankfurt, central Germany. Helmut Schmidt died Nov. 10, 2015. He was 96. (AP Photo/Daniel Roland, file)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - In this June 23, 1973 file photo then West Germany's Finance Minister Helmut Schmidt, smokes a pipe as then West German Chancellor Willy Brandt, right, receives files by his assistant Guenther Guillaume - who later was uncovered as an East German spy - during a meeting of the Social Democratic Party board in Berlin. Helmut Schmidt died Nov. 10, 2015. He was 96.  (AP-Photo/Edwin Reichert, file)

    FILE - In this June 23, 1973 file photo then West Germany's Finance Minister Helmut Schmidt, smokes a pipe as then West German Chancellor Willy Brandt, right, receives files by his assistant Guenther Guillaume - who later was uncovered as an East German spy - during a meeting of the Social Democratic Party board in Berlin. Helmut Schmidt died Nov. 10, 2015. He was 96. (AP-Photo/Edwin Reichert, file)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - In this April 2, 2009 file photo former German Chancellor Helmut Schmidt smokes a cigarette during a discussion hosted by the ECB in Frankfurt, central Germany. Helmut Schmidt died Nov. 10, 2015. He was 96. (AP Photo/Daniel Roland, file)

    FILE - In this April 2, 2009 file photo former German Chancellor Helmut Schmidt smokes a cigarette during a discussion hosted by the ECB in Frankfurt, central Germany. Helmut Schmidt died Nov. 10, 2015. He was 96. (AP Photo/Daniel Roland, file)  (The Associated Press)

Former Chancellor Helmut Schmidt, who guided West Germany through economic turbulence and Cold War tension in the 1970s and early 1980s, has died. He was 96.

Schmidt's doctor, Heiner Greten, told the German news agency dpa that he died Tuesday afternoon in Hamburg.

Schmidt's chancellorship coincided with a tense period of the Cold War, including the Soviet Union's 1979 invasion of Afghanistan. He also stood firm against a wave of homegrown terrorism in West Germany.

The center-left Social Democrat led West Germany from 1974 to 1982, when he lost power to conservative Helmut Kohl.

Schmidt went on to become an iconic elder statesman, weighing in on Germany's political debates into his 90s.