Born on December 23, 1918 Helmut Heinrich Waldemar Schmidt was the Chancellor of West Germany from 1974 to 1982. He served as Minister of Finance from 1972 to 19074 and was credited for the financial policies that provided Germany with a stable currency and economic position. He was Minister of Economics and Foreign Minister for a brief time.
Chancellor Schmidt focused on international affairs and sought to politically unify Europe with the U.S. He was a great diplomat who worked for European cooperation. In 1982 his coalition allies feel apart and Schmidt retired from Parliament in 1987.
Schmidt married Hannelore Glaser in 1919 and they had two children. Susanne born in 1947 works for Bloomberg Television. Schmidt graduated in economics and political science in 1949.
Schmidt's rule include a huge range of social reforms including the marriage and divorce law of 1976. He instigated a law that enabled married women to enter employment without asking permission of their husbands. He also enacted prison reforms that limited sentences to 15 years for all but the worst cases and stated that rehabilitation was the objective of incarceration. In 1977 a Sex Discrimination Act was passed and in 1981 the legal aid system was established.
Schmidt also introduced four months paid parental leave for working mothers, and in 1980 a compliance law was introduced that prohibited discrimination in hiring, promoting and dismissing. Measure to promote equal pay were also enacted.
After his retirement from politics, Schmidt and Gerald Ford co-founded the annual AEI World Forum. He joined Die Ziet newspaper as a co-publisher and in 1985 he became the managing director. He also founded the European Central Bank. Schmidt opposed phasing out nuclear energy and Schmidt perceives the internet as life threatening. Schmidt is still active at 95.