Gerhard Schröder (Social Democratic Party of Germany, or SPD) is the german chancellor since 1998, when he was elected by the Bundestag with the votes of the government coalition of SPD and Bündnis 90/Die Grünen. He defeated Helmut Kohl (Christian Democratic Union of Germany, or CDU), who was chancellor for 16 years.
Schröder was born in 1944 as child of poor people. His father was killed in the World War II, and his mother struggled to keep the family alive, consisting of mother and five children. 1963 he joined the Social Democrats. In the 70's, Schröder was an activist of the Jungsozialisten, the youth organization of the SPD. He studied law and worked as lawyer, and 1978 became chairman of the Jungsozialisten. In 1980 he was elected as member of the Bundestag for the first time. In 1986 he became member of the board of the Social Democrats. 1990 he defeated the christian-democratic prime minister of the german state of Niedersachsen and became prime minister himself. In 1998 he was elected chancellor. Since 1999, he is also chairman of the Social democratic party.
He is married to the journalist Doris Schröder-Kopf; this is his fourth marriage.
More information in the World Wide Web about Gerhard Schröder is available at http://www.bundeskanzler.de. The sites http://www.gerhard-schroeder.de and http://www.gerhardschroeder.de are both not so informative, because they are 'napped - by the youth organization of the CDU and by aliens, as it looks.