Helmut Schmidt was born in Hamburg Germany on December 23, 1918. Schmidt served in the German army from 1937 until he was captured by the British in April 1945
Helmut Schmidt served West Germany as Chancellor for eight years; beginning in 1974, when he succeeded Willy Brandt. A member of the Social Democratic Party since 1946, Schmidt held a number of positions, including that of Defense Minister (1969-72), under Brandt. Twice re-elected Chancellor, Schmidt was defeated by Helmut Kohl in 1982. Schmidt's pragmatic approach to foreign affairs was marked by his support of closer ties with the NATO alliance and other Western powers.