May 13, 2008 / 10:07 AM / 9 years ago

Former German Chancellor Helmut Kohl gets married

<p>Former German Chancellor Helmut Kohl receives a tolerance award from the Berlin Jewish museum in this November 17, 2007 file photo.Miguel Villagran/Pool</p>

BERLIN (Reuters) - Former German Chancellor Helmut Kohl has married his partner Maike Richter, an economist who is nearly 35 years his junior.

Kohl's office said on Tuesday the two had tied the knot last week at a Heidelberg clinic where Kohl is recuperating from a head injury.

Last month, his office announced that 78-year old Kohl planned to marry Richter, 44, who is on leave from her post in the German Economy Ministry to tend to the former chancellor.

Kohl, a conservative Christian Democrat (CDU), was Germany's longest-serving post-war leader, in office from 1982 to 1998. He was a driving force behind German reunification in 1990 and European integration.

He underwent knee surgery last year and suffered a bad fall earlier this year, which led him to be hospitalized.

Kohl's late wife Hannelore, who suffered from a rare illness that made her allergic to light, took her own life in 2001.

Writing by Noah Barkin; Editing by Matthew Jones

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