Helmut Kohl, the German chancellor who oversaw the historic reunification of Germany, has died at the age of 87.
Kohl served as chancellor of West Germany from 1982 to 1990, and of a reunited Germany to 1998, the longest-serving German chancellor since Otto von Bismarck.
Kohl overcame the doubts of Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev with pledges that NATO troops and weapons would not be deployed in East Germany and agreed to limits on the size of the army of the united Germany. He also approved large-scale financial aid for Soviet economic reforms.
Kohl played a significant role in promoting European integration and strongly advocated including the postcommunist states in both the European Union and NATO. Along with his friend, French President Francois Mitterrand, Kohl worked to make the European Union an equal partner with the United States.
Germany's reunification is the achievement which Kohl believed would keep his name alive in German history.