German ChancellorDied when: 78 years 295 days (945 months)
Star Sign: Sagittarius
Willy Brandt (German: [ˈvɪliː ˈbʁant]; born Herbert Ernst Karl Frahm; 18 December 1913 – 8 October 1992) was a German politician and statesman who was leader of the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD) from 1964 to 1987 and served as the chancellor of West Germany from 1969 to 1974.
He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1971 for his efforts to strengthen cooperation in western Europe through the EEC and to achieve reconciliation between West Germany and the countries of Eastern Europe.
He was the first Social Democrat chancellor since 1930.Fleeing to Norway and then Sweden during the Nazi regime and working as a left-wing journalist, he took the name Willy Brandt as a pseudonym to avoid detection by Nazi agents, and then formally adopted the name in 1948.
Brandt was originally considered one of the leaders of the right wing of the SPD, and earned initial fame as Governing Mayor of West Berlin.
He served as the foreign minister and as the vice-chancellor in Kurt Georg Kiesinger's cabinet, and became chancellor in 1969.As chancellor, he maintained West Germany's close alignment with the United States and focused on strengthening European integration in western Europe, while launching the new policy of Ostpolitik aimed at improving relations with Eastern Europe.
Brandt was controversial on both the right wing, for his Ostpolitik, and on the left wing, for his support of American policies, including the Vietnam War, and right-wing authoritarian regimes.
The Brandt Report became a recognised measure for describing the general North-South divide in world economics and politics between an affluent North and a poor South.
Brandt was also known for his fierce anti-communist policies at the domestic level, culminating in the Radikalenerlass (Anti-Radical Decree) in 1972.In 1970, while visiting a memorial to the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising crushed by the Germans, Brandt unexpectedly knelt and meditated in silence, a moment remembered as the Kniefall von Warschau.
Brandt resigned as chancellor in 1974, after Günter Guillaume, one of his closest aides, was exposed as an agent of the Stasi, the East German secret service.