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Heinz Riesenhuber

Heinz Riesenhuber
Riesenhuber addressing the CDU in 1986
Minister of Scientific Research
In office
Personal details
Born (1935-12-01)December 1, 1935
Political party CDU
Occupation Chemist

Heinz Riesenhuber (born December 1, 1935) is a German politician (CDU) and was minister in the cabinets of Helmut Kohl from 1982 until 1993.

Life and education

Riesenhuber received his high school diploma (Abitur) in 1955 in Frankfurt am Main. He studied economics and chemistry until 1961. Afterward, he worked for four years as a researcher in the department of chemistry at the Johann Wolfgang Goethe-Universität and earned a Doctorate degree in chemistry in 1965.

From 1966 to 1982 he worked for Metallgesellschaft AG, Frankfurt/Main. Within the Metallgesellschaft Group he was CEO for the subsidiary "Erzgesellschaft mbH" (from 1968), and 1971 to 1982 Chief technical officer of "Synthomer Chemie GmbH", another subsidiary.

Political career

Riesenhuber became a member of the CDU in 1961. Between 1965 and 1969 he was head of the youth organization of CDU (Junge Union) in Hessen. He was chairman of CDU Frankfurt from 1973 to 1978. In 1979 he was elected as a chairman of CDU district Untermain.

Since 1976, he served as member of the federal German legislature, the Bundestag. On October 4, 1982, he was appointed Minister of Scientific Research. He served as such until January 21, 1993.

In 2009 he became the 17th Alterspräsident (Father of the House) of the Bundestag due to his status as the oldest member of the legislature.


Riesenhuber earned a Honorary degree Dr. h.c. from


His personal brand is his Bow tie. He always wears such a tie. In his Political campaigns for the Bundestag he used a poster showing only a bow tie in the national colours of Germany: Black, red and gold. Neither his name nor his party was mentioned but everybody in his constituency recognized Riesenhuber.


  • Biography on the Website of the German Bundestag (German)

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