Timeline of Helmut Kohl's career

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A timeline of the career of Helmut Kohl:

— April 3, 1930: Helmut Josef Michael Kohl born in Ludwigshafen, Germany.

— 1960: Marries Hannelore Renner.

— 1969: Becomes governor of Rhineland-Palatinate state.

— 1973: Takes over leadership of the conservative Christian Democratic Union.

— 1976: Makes first bid for the chancellery, but Social Democratic incumbent Helmut Schmidt's coalition retains power in election.

— Oct. 1, 1982: Elected chancellor by parliament after the small Free Democratic Party switches its allegiance to the CDU.

— 1984: Pays joint homage with French President Francois Mitterrand to the dead of World War I at Verdun, France.

— 1985: Draws criticism for visit with U.S. President Ronald Reagan to a cemetery in Bitburg where Nazi SS members were buried alongside war dead.

— November 1989: East Germany opens the Berlin Wall. Within weeks, Kohl proposes an informal confederation that would lead to eventual German reunification.

— July 1990: Secures Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev's approval of NATO membership for a united Germany.

— September 1990: West and East Germany and the four World War II allies sign the "two-plus-four" agreement, sanctioning reunification and heralding the return of full German sovereignty.

— Oct. 3, 1990: Germany reunited.

— 1994: Kohl's last national election victory.

— 1998: Defeated by Social Democrat Gerhard Schroeder.

— 1999: Admits accepting undeclared donations for his party in the 1990s.

— 2002: Steps down from parliament.

— 2008: Marries his second wife, Maike Richter.