When the English speaking world talks about the winning Cold War leadership, we usually talk about Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher. But Helmut Kohl was a rock in Germany, and it’s hard to say what would have happened without his leadership.
Kohl died on Friday at the age of 87. He had been Chancellor of Germany for 16 years. His Christian Democratic Union (with the Christian Social Union) first beat the Social Democratic Party in 1976, but coalition politics kept him from becoming Chancellor. That coalition was finally only toppled in 1982, electing him Chancellor in October of that year. He then won the next 4 elections (1983, 1987, 1990, and 1994), meaning his party was the #1 party for 6 straight elections in West Germany and the reunified Germany.
Only Bismarck served as Chancellor of Germany longer, and he didn’t have to face elections. He was appointed by King Wilhelm I,