Famous People | A-B-C-D-E-F-G-H-I
Biographies of people from the German-speaking countries who have played a significant role in German and world history in the areas of politics, science, the arts, and technology.
Featured Famous Folks
- Harmut Esslinger - The legendary German-American industrial designer who helped Steve Jobs design the Apple IIc and the Mac SE.
- African Americans and Germany - US-German black history connections
- Steffi Graf - German tennis star Stefanie Maria Graf shared the world tennis stage with fellow German Boris Becker until they both retired in 1999.
- Contemporary German Authors and their works (German literature in the original and in English translation)
- Martin Kaymer - German golf champion
- Max Raabe - The singer of 1920s classics and his Palast Orchester tour Germany and the world.
- Walter Gropius and the Bauhaus - The German architect and designer Walter Gropius founded the Bauhaus in 1919.
- Billy Wilder was the Austrian-American director of great films from Double Indemnity to Stalag 17 and Some Like It Hot.
- Heidi Klum is a German-born top fashion model and TV personality.
- Dirk Nowitzki - German-born star of the NBA Dallas Mavericks
- Herbert Grönemeyer is Germany's best-known and most successful singer, actor and composer.
Konrad Adenauer (1876-1967) | Became the first chancellor (1949-63) of the new Federal Republic of Germany and helped lead West Germany to postwar recovery and prosperity. Adenauer held the record for his term in office until it was broken by former German chancellor, Helmut Kohl. Bonn was chosen as West Germany’s “provisional” capital, in part because it was Adenauer’s home town. - More...
Alois Alzheimer (1864-1915) | German neuropathologist who in 1906 identified the memory-loss ailment named after him. He was born in 1864 in Marktbreit, Germany. Excelling in science at school he later studied medicine in Berlin, Tübingen, and Würzburg. Alzheimer was buried next to his wife in the Jewish cemetery in Frankfurt am Main. - Links: Alzheimer house in Marktbreit (www.marktbreit.de); Did Dr Alzheimer discover Alzheimer's Disease? from About.com.
Arminius | (See Hermann der Cherusker)
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Nadja Auermann (1970- ) | Though less well-known than her fellow German rival, Claudia Schiffer, Auermann had an equally dramatic rise to modeling stardom.
Andreas Baader (1943-1977) | Of the infamous Baader-Meinhof gang.
Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) | The most prominent in an amazing series of musical Bachs spanning the 16th to the 19th centuries. J.S. Bach’s career began in earnest when he became court organist at Weimar in 1708. By 1714 he had been appointed Konzertmeister. He went on to compose musical monuments like the “Brandenburg Concertos,” the “Pastoral Symphony,” and “The Well-Tempered Clavier.”
Karl Baedeker (1801-1859) | Father of the travel guide (Reiseführer). The first Baedeker guide, Rheinlande, was published in 1839 in Koblenz. That first book established the Baedeker’s reputation for accuracy and detail. Karl Baedeker was born into a publishing family in Essen. The eldest son of Gottschalk Diederich Baedeker, whose father Zacharias (1750-1800) had established the Baedeker publishing house in 1775, Karl Baedeker continued his family’s publishing tradition in Essen. After his death the Baedekers moved their travel publishing to Leipzig. After WWII, the Baedeker headquarters relocated to Freiburg in southwest Germany. More... (For examples of modern Baedeker guides see our Bookstore.)
Albert Ballin (1857-1918) | The “Reeder des Kaisers” (“Ship operator to the Kaiser”) was born on August 15, 1857 in Hamburg. As head of the Hamburg-Amerika line (Hapag), Ballin was largely responsible for making Germany a leader in travel by oceanliner prior to World War I. He also invented the pleasure cruise. More...
Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827) | Born in tiny Bonn, he moved to Vienna, the musical capital of Europe, at the age of 22. Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy” became the official anthem of the European Community in 1986, and the unofficial anthem of German unification in 1989. Beethoven’s grand symphonies, chamber music, and other classical works now also belong to the entire world.
Peter Behrens (1868-1940) | Became famous as the chief designer and architect for Germany's AEG electrical concern between 1909 and 1912. Behrens proved that industrial plants could also be eye-pleasing architectural works. He influenced the later work of Walter Gropius (Bauhaus), Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, and Le Corbusier, all of whom worked under Behrens.
Karl Benz (1844-1929) and Gottfried Daimler (1834-1900) | Independently invented the first practical internal-combustion powered automobile (Benz in 1885, Daimler in 1886), though they never met. The two firms merged in 1926 to form Daimler-Benz, today Germany’s largest industrial concern. Benz, born in Karlsruhe, invented the differential drive and other automotive technology, including two types of internal-combustion engines and electrical ignition.
Otto von Bismarck (1815-1898) | Unified Germany in 1871. As Reichskanzler (imperial chancellor) Bismarck stayed at the helm of the Prussian Second Reich until 1890. A scheming manipulator to the end, even his introduction of the first social security system for workers (1883) was politically motivated.
Willy Brandt (1913-1992) | Became mayor of West Berlin in 1957, was German chancellor (SPD, Social Democrats) from 1969 to 1974, and winner of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1971 for his Ostpolitik of rapprochement with East Germany. Brandt was a popular statesman and remained influential in the SPD party right up to his death.
Wernher von Braun (1912-1977) | Born in Wirsitz in eastern Germany (now Poland) and worked at Peenemünde developing the V2 rockets that struck at Britain in 1944-45. One of the first true “rocket scientists,” he and about 120 other German scientists were brought to the US to work on rocket systems. The US space program was greatly speeded up by their work, culminating in the Saturn V rocket that sent Americans to the moon on the Apollo mission in 1969, when von Braun was the head of NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. More...
Martin Buber (1878-1965) | Austrian Jewish philosopher, writer, translator, and educator who was a Zionist supporter of a Jewish state (but wanted a binational Jewish-Arab solution). Born in Vienna, Buber lived and worked mostly in Germany until 1938, when he left Nazi Germany to become a professor at Hebrew University in British-occupied Palestine. Buber was very influential in politics, religion and philosophy. His works include Ich und du (1923) and a German translation of the Hebrew Torah (with Franz Rosenzweig).
Elias Canetti (Cañete, 1905-1994) | Born in Bulgaria, the Jewish Canetti lived in several countries before settling in Vienna, where he began his career as a writer in 1924. Following the 1938 Nazi takeover of Austria, Canetti moved to London (British citizenship in 1952), where he lived and worked until the 1970s, continuing to write in German. In the 1960s and ’70s he was awarded various Austrian and German literature prizes before receiving the 1981 Nobel Prize in literature. During most of the last two decades of his life, Canetti lived in Switzerland. His grave lies in Zurich. His key works include: Die Blendung (1935, novel, translated as Auto-da-Fé in 1946), Masse und Macht (1960, Crowds and Power), Die gerettete Zunge (1977, memoirs), Die Fackel im Ohr (1980, memoirs).
Charlemagne (Karl der Große, 742-814) | Crowned Emperor (Kaiser) of the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation (das Heilige Römische Reich Deutscher Nation), the First Reich, in 800. He had become King of the Franks in 776. The Germanic Charlemagne and his Frankish tribe gave France its name. Frankreich (empire of the Franks) is the German word for France.
FAMOUS GRAVES > Charlemagne’s Grave in Germany
- Elvis Presley in West Germany - 1958-1960: Elvis as a soldier in Germany
- Konrad Zuse (1910-1995): German inventor of the world's first programmable computer — in 1941!
Adolf (Adi) Dassler (1900-1959) | In 1924 Adi and his brother Rudolph (Rudi) founded the German sports shoe company Gebrüder Dassler OHG—now known as adidas (pron. AH-dee-DAHS, not uh-DEE-duhs). Born the son of a cobbler in Herzogenaurauch, Germany, Adi invented spiked shoes for track and field in 1920. Jesse Owens was wearing a pair of Dassler’s shoes when he won gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics. The brothers split in 1948 when Rudi founded Puma (one of adidas’ biggest competitors in Europe) and Adi renamed his firm by combining elements of his name.
Christian Doppler (1803-1853) | The Austrian mathematician and physicist whose name is best known from the “Doppler effect” he first described in 1842 while a professor in Prague (then still within the Austrian empire) was born in Salzburg. Doppler studied there and in Vienna. The asteroid 3905 Doppler is named for him.
Ruth Dreifuss (1940- ) | Switzerland’s first female president took office on the first day of 1999. (The office is an appointed one-year term and rotates among the seven Cabinet ministers in the Swiss federal government.) This is all the more notable when one realizes that women have only had the right to vote in Swiss national elections since 1971! The Jewish Dreifuss was born in German Switzerland, but later moved to Geneva, where she worked as a secretary and journalist and attended university. Fluent in five languages, Dreifuss served in many governmental capacities before being appointed Home Affairs Minister in 1993.
Albrecht Dürer (1471-1528) | Led the way to a new art perspective of the world with his realistic drawings of animals (a hare being one of the most famous), Ritter, Tod und Teufel, in which death is portrayed as a skeleton, and other subjects. (See the art of Albrecht Dürer at the Web Museum.)
Famous Graves in Germany
Where are they buried?
Rudi Dutschke (1940-1979) | Infamous leader of the German student rebellions of the 1960s.
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Albert Einstein (1879-1955) | Published his theory of relativity in 1905. Born in Ulm, Germany, Einstein later attended university in Zurich, Switzerland, where he received his Ph.D. In 1916, while a professor at the University of Berlin, Einstein published his general theory of relativity, a significant expansion of his earlier work. He received the 1921 Nobel Prize in physics. In 1933 Einstein moved to Princeton, New Jersey, where he was to live for the rest of his life. Einstein’s letter to President Roosevelt helped start the Manhattan Project and the development of the atomic bomb by the United States. Einstein became a US citizen in 1940.
Elisabeth/Sissi (1837-1898) | Kaiserin Elisabeth, Empress Elisabeth. Franz Joseph’s wife, better known as Sisi (or Sissi), was a popular Austrian Empress who was assassinated in Geneva in 1898. More about Sisi from Wien-Vienna.at (in German, illustrated).
Elvis | From 1958 to 1960 Elvis Presley was a US soldier stationed in West Germany. Learn more in Elvis in West Germany.
Roland Emmerich | The director of Independence Day, The Day After Tomorrow and Godzilla, plus other famous FILM PEOPLE, can be found at the German-Hollywood Connection.
The German-Hollywood Connection
Austrians, Germans, and Swiss in Hollywood
Friedrich Engels (1820-1895) | The son of a wealthy textile manufacturer, Engels left his native Prussia in 1842 to work for his father’s company in Manchester, England. In 1844, he met Karl Marx, a fellow-Prussian who was now living in London. The two worked together to publish the Communist Manifesto in 1848. After the death of Marx in 1883, it was Engels who completed Das Kapital, of which Marx had only completed the first of three volumes.
Erik H. Erikson (1902-1994) | Grew up in Karlsruhe as Erik Homburger but changed his name to Erikson before coming to the United States. Erikson was a disciple of Freud, but disagreed with the Freudian philosophy that early childhood and sex mainly determined a person’s identity. Erikson, a psychoanalyst, author, and professor (Yale, Harvard, Berkeley), coined the term “identity crisis” and wrote several “psychobiographies” on figures such as Darwin, Einstein (above), Gandhi, and Jesus. He never obtained a college degree.
Max Ernst (1891-1976) | The German surrealist artist was born in Cologne. At the nearby University of Bonn he studied philosophy and psychology, but after meeting various “Blue Rider” artists there, he turned to art. In 1920, along with Hans Arp, Ernst set up the Dada group in Cologne. He later moved to Paris, where his word-image “picture poem” paintings and collages set him apart from most artists of the time. During World War II, after being imprisoned as an enemy alien, Ernst went to the United States (1941-1952). In the early 1950s he went back to France, set up a studio in Paris, and became a French citizen.
Gabriel Daniel Fahrenheit (1686-1736) | The German physicist who invented the temperature scale named for him. Although born in Danzig, he lived most of his life in England and the Netherlands.
Lyonel Feininger (1871-1956) | Born in New York City but spent 50 years of his life in Germany. His father, Carl, came from Germany and fought as a Confederate in the War Between the States. Lyonel was an artistic leader in Expressionism and worked for a time at the Bauhaus.
Felix Frankfurter (1882-1965) | Austrian-born US Supreme Court Justice from 1939 to 1962. Frankfurter came to the US with his parents from Austria when he was only 12 years old.
Theodor Fontane (1819-1898) | German poet and novelist of French Huguenot descent. Considered the leading exponent of “poetic realism” in 19th Century German literature, two of Fontane’s best-known novels are Effie Briest (1896) and L'Adultera (1882), both based on real-life episodes in Prussian Berlin and Brandenburg. Grave: Friedhof II der Französisch-Reformierten-Gemeinde, Liesenstraße, Berlin.
Gert Fröbe (Karl Gerhart Fröbe, 1913-1988) | German film actor best known for his iconic role as Auric Goldfinger in the 1964 James Bond movie Goldfinger. Because of Fröbe’s thick German accent, his voice was dubbed by British actor Michael Collins in that film. Fröbe (Froebe) also appeared in other German and English-language films (with his own voice), including Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines (1965), Is Paris Burning? (1966), Triple Cross (1966), Rocket to the Moon (1967), Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (1968), and Bloodline (1979). Fröbe was born in Planitz (now part of the city of Zwickau) in the eastern German state of Saxony (Sachsen) on Feb. 25, 1913.
Friedrich Fröbel (Froebel, 1782-1852) | German educator best known as the inventor of the kindergarten (German for “children’s garden”) in 1840. Fröbel was a student of the Swiss Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi, the father of modern educational techniques. He was born in Oberweißbach (then in the Principality of Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt, now in Thuringia). He began his teaching career in 1805 at a secondary school in Frankfurt am Main. Later he worked with Pestalozzi in Switzerland. Die Menschenerziehung (On the Education of Man, 1826) was his main pedagogical work. Baroness Bertha Marie von Marenholtz-Bülow became one of his greatest supporters and helped spread his ideas. German immigrants, particularly Margarethe Schurz, founded kindergartens in the US beginning in 1856. Also see Education for more.
Anton Fugger (1493-1560) | Presided over the Fugger dynasty and fortune at the height of its wealth and power. In 1546 the Fugger empire was worth 5,100,000 gulden. Anton’s uncle and predecessor, Jakob Fugger II (the Rich, 1459-1525), built the Fuggerei—52 low-rent houses in Augsburg—between 1516 and 1523. The Fuggerei (FOO-gehr-eye) foundation operates to this day. During the 15th and 16th centuries the Fuggers developed their great wealth through world-wide enterprises in banking, trading, and mining. (See the Money and banking page on this site.)
Famous Graves in Germany
Where are they buried?
H.R. Giger | and other famous FILM PEOPLE: The German-Hollywood Connection
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832) | The Gothic Shakespeare — with contemporaries Schiller and von Kleist—began the German literature movement known as Romanticism. This giant of German culture wrote the famous two-part drama, Faust, many classic poetic works, and an international best selling novel, The Sorrows of Young Werther, that precipitated a rash of youth suicides across Europe. Goethe was also interested in science. More...
Steffi Graf (1969- ) | German tennis star Stefanie Maria Graf shared the world tennis stage with fellow German Boris Becker until they both retired in 1999. Graf is now married to former American tennis champion Andre Agassi.
Günter Grass (1927- ) | Born in the seaport city of Danzig (Gdansk). His Tin Drum (1959), Cat and Mouse (1961), and The Dog Years (1963), known as the Danzig trilogy, became world-wide bestsellers. Grass continues to produce novels and other works today. Known for his leftist views, he has taken an active role in German politics, and opposed total German unity following the collapse of East Germany in 1989.
Walter Gropius (1883-1969) | Founded the famous German Bauhaus school of architecture and design in 1919. He came to America after the Nazis came to power, taught at Harvard, and designed buildings such as the Pan Am building in New York City. (Also see Peter Behrens.) More...
Herbert Grönemeyer (1956- ) | One of Germany’s top pop music stars, Grönemeyer was born in Göttingen in 1956. He started his first band at the age of 12. But his talents aren’t restricted to music alone. He played the wet-behind-the-ears war correspondent on board Das Boot (The Boat), the German submarine film epic of 1981. After that, “Herbie” concentrated almost exclusively on music. He also composed the score for a Hollywood film starring George Clooney! More...
WEB > Grönemeyer Song Lyrics (in German and English; About.com)
Johannes Gensfleisch zum Gutenberg (ca. 1397-1468) | Working in Mainz, he started printing the Bible in Latin in 1450. It took five years for Gutenberg and his assistants to produce just 200 copies. Today his 42-line Bible is the most valuable book in the world, but Gutenberg lost money on the deal. Only 48 Gutenberg Bibles are known to still exist. Gutenberg revolutionized the world with his printing press using metal moveable type.
Gunther von Hagens (Gunther Liebchen, 1945- )
German anatomist and artist whose international Body Worlds (Körperwelten) exhibits have stirred up controversy (in Los Angeles at the California Science Center in 2005). Von Hagens was born in Poland, but his family moved to East Germany at the end of WWII. From 1965 to 1968 he studied medicine at the university in Jena, but he was arrested for protesting the Russian (Warsaw Pact) invasion of Czechoslovakia and his failed attempt to escape to West Germany. After West Germany paid to free von Hagens and other political prisoners in 1970 he continued his medical studies in Lübeck. In 1993 von Hagens founded the Institut für Plastination in Heidelberg. He holds several patents for the plastination process he uses to preserve human and animal cadavers in clear plastic. Today von Hagens lives primarily in China, where he has been a guest professor at the medical university in Dalian since 1996. See the Body Worlds Web site (in English and German) for current exhibits and more about his controversial art exhibits featuring real human bodies.
Peter Handke (1942- ) | Austrian novelist and playwright. The work that probably did the most to bring him into the limelight was his 1966 play Publikumsbeschimpfung (Insulting the Audience). One of his best novels is Die linkshändige Frau (The Left-Handed Woman, 1980). Handke uses an unconventional dead-pan style of writing that some have compared to Kafka or even Chandler. Recently, Handke caused a stir by supporting the Bosnian Serbs against the Croats in his book, Gerechtigkeit für Serbien (Justice for Serbia). A recent Handke novel, loosely set in Santa Fe, is entitled In einer dunklen Nacht ging ich aus meinem stillen Haus (lit., “In a dark night I left my quiet house”). Handke now lives in Paris.
Franz Joseph Haydn (1732-1809) | Considered one of the greatest composers who ever lived. Born in Lower Austria, Haydn’s genius spanned 50 years of creativity in the service of the Esterhazy court in Eisenstadt and Vienna. Although he traveled little, his time in London was important to his career and his musical work. By the time of his death in Vienna in 1809, Haydn had composed over 100 symphonies, 84 string quartets, and numerous other works, some of which have been lost.
Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (1770-1831) | A German philosopher whose “dialectical method” greatly influenced Karl Marx and his Communist Manifesto (1848). But Marx held many views that were opposed to Hegel’s philosophy: “My dialectical method is not only distinct from Hegelian method … but is absolutely opposed to it.” Hegel said that thought creates reality. Marx claimed that it was the other way around: ideas are matter absorbed and transformed by human thought.
Werner Karl Heisenberg (1901-1976) | German physicist who is best known for his uncertainty principle. Heisenberg was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1932 for his work in quantam mechanics. He was a professor at Leipzig University from 1927 to 1941. Heisenberg also led the unsuccessful German effort to develop an atomic bomb during WWII.
Hermann der Cherusker (Arminius in Latin, ca. 18B.C.-19A.D.) | A Roman-trained chief of the Cherusci, defeated the Romans at the battle of the Teutoburger Wald (Forest) in 9 A.D. The Romans had difficulties bringing the Germanic tribes under control, and the Rhine remained the northeastern border of the Roman empire for 300 years. Hermann was slain by his own tribesmen in 19 A.D. Although the Roman historian Tacitus labeled him “the liberator of Germany,” the concept of a unified Germany was not even imagined in Arminius’ time. But that did not prevent German nationalists from adopting Arminius as a German hero in the 19th century. They erected a huge, rather ugly monument to Hermann (and his defeat of P. Quintilius Varus’ three legions) that still stands near the German city of Detmold today.
Alfred Herrhausen | A director of the Deutsche Bank, died in a terrorist car-bomb attack in 1989.
Heinrich Rudolf Hertz (1857-1894) | German physicist who did pioneering research related to electricity and electromagnetic waves, which were first known as “hertzian waves.” His name also became the term used for radio and electrical frequencies: hertz (Hz), as in kilohertz (KHz) or megahertz (MHz). The hertz designation has been an official part of the international metric system since 1933. Before Hertz gained professorships in Karlsruhe and Bonn, he had studied under the famous scientist Hermann von Helmholtz in Bonn, and it was Helmholtz who encouraged Hertz to attempt to win the science prize that led to some of Hertz's most important discoveries. From 1885 to 1889 Hertz became the first person to broadcast and receive radio waves, and to establish the fact that light was a form of electromagnetic radiation. (The Italian Marconi didn't begin his own wireless experiments until 1894, based on the earlier work of Hertz, Maxwell, and others.) Hertz probably would have gone on to make many more scientific contributions, but he died quite young, less than a month before his 37th birthday.
Roman Herzog (1934- ) | Succeeded Richard von Weizsäcker as president of Germany in July 1994. A law professor and former judge on Germany's highest court, Herzog held the largely ceremonial post of Bundespräsident (German federal president) for the term of five years (1994-1999). Herzog, as did Weizsäcker before him, set a high standard for his fellow Germans and occasionally took them to task for their tendency to dwell on the past and fear the future. He was succeeded by Johannes Rau (1931-2006; president from 1999 to 2004).
Werner Herzog (Werner H. Stipetic, 1942- ) | German film director active in both Germany and Hollywood. See The German-Hollywood Connection
Martina Hingis | See our Sports Page for links to Swiss tennis champ Hingis and other sports people.
Andreas Hofer (1767-1810) | Tyrolean popular hero and martyr. Hofer’s birthplace was near St. Leonard in what is today South Tyrol (Südtirol) in the German-speaking part of northern Italy. The former innkeeper (reflected in his nickname, der Sandwirt) gained fame as a patriot in the struggle between Bavaria and Austria over Tyrol (Tirol). After Tyrol was ceded to Bavaria in 1805, Hofer led the rebellion to return his homeland to Austria. Despite his several military victories over Bavarian forces, most notably in the battle of Berg Isel (1809), Hofer was later betrayed and taken prisoner. On Napoleon’s orders, Hofer was executed on Feb. 20, 1810. Since then, many poems and songs have been written in tribute to Hofer. The “Andreas-Hofer-Lied” is still the Tyrolean anthem. Hofer’s bones lie with those of other Tyrolean patriots in a church in Innsbruck, Austria.
E.T.A. Hoffmann (1776-1822) | Full name: Ernst Theodor Amadeus Hoffmann. (He replaced his original Wilhelm with the name Amadeus in honor of Mozart ca. 1813.) Hoffmann was one of the first science fiction/fantasy writers, who wrote about Mesmer and mesmerism in Das öde Haus (1817) and Der unheimliche Gast (1818). Jacques Offenbach later immortalized some of his stories operatically in The Tales of Hoffmann (1881). The versatile Hoffmann was also a lawyer, composer, and painter.
Erich Honecker (1912-1994) | Took over the reigns of the GDR in 1971 and stayed in power until the Wall came tumbling downan ironic fact, as he had been put in charge of building the Wall by Walter Ulbricht, and just months before the fall, had predicted it would stand for another 100 years. After attempting to put him on trial for Wall crimes (shoot-to-kill orders), a German court let him off for health reasons. After 14 months of self-imposed exile in Chile, he died there of liver cancer on May 29, 1994.
Alexander von Humboldt (1769-1859) | German naturalist and explorer who traveled in the Americas, meeting President Jefferson in 1804 during a brief visit to the United States. His extensive work researching everything from magnetism to ocean currents made him one of the first environmental scientists. The Humboldt Current west of South America is named for him, as are the Mare Humboldtianum and the Humboldt Crater on the moon, and various counties, communities, mountain ranges, and a river in the U.S. state of Nevada. His older brother, Wilhelm von Humboldt (1767-1835) was a distinguished linguist, diplomat, and founder of the Humboldt University in Berlin.
FAMOUS GRAVES > Humboldt’s Grave in Germany
Friedensreich Hundertwasser (1928-2000) | Austrian artist and architect whose colorful, playful works seem to be either loved or hated. Born on 15 December 1928 in Vienna as Friedrich Stowasser, Hundertwasser provoked controversy beginning with his first art exhibition in 1952. His adventurous, non-traditional approach to art and architecture, which blurred the distinction between the two, won him awards as well as condemnation. His works ranged from postage stamps to major architectural projects, including his Hundertwasser Haus apartment complex in Vienna (completed in 1986), the redesign of a Danube cruise ship (1996), a winery in Napa, California (1990), and a ceramic mural in Lisbon (1998). Web: www.hundertwasser.de.
Jörg Immendorf (1945-2007) | German painter, sculptor, stage designer and art professor. Immendorf was born in Bleckede, Lower Saxony (Niedersachsen). His parents divorced when he was eleven. He later studied at the Art Academy in Düsseldorf under Joseph Beuys. Immenhof’s paintings and sculptures often included a whimsical icon that became his trademark: the so-called “painter monkeys” (Maleraffen). Even his official portrait of former German chancellor Gerhard Schröder features them. Immendorf died of ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease) at the age of 61. He was first diagnosed with the disease in 1997. Some of his later works were completed by assistants because he had lost the use of his hands to ALS.
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