Richard Karl Freiherr von Weizsäcker (German: ['??ça??t f?n 'va?tsz?k?] (listen); 15 April 1920 – 31 January 2015) was a German politician (CDU), who served as President of Germany from 1984 to 1994 (of West Germany 1984–1990 and of the reunited Germany 1990–1994).
Born into the Weizsäcker family, who were part of the German nobility, he took his first public offices in the Evangelical Church in Germany.
A member of the CDU since 1954, he was elected as member of parliament in 1969.
He continued to hold a mandate as member of the Bundestag until he became Governing Mayor of West Berlin, following the 1981 state elections.
In 1984, Richard von Weizsäcker was elected as President of the Federal Republic of Germany and in 1989 he was re-elected for a second term.
As yet, he is, together with Theodor Heuss, one of only two Presidents of the Federal Republic of Germany, who have served two complete five-year-terms.
During his second term as President on 3 October 1990, the reorganized five states of the former German Democratic Republic and East Berlin joined the Federal Republic of Germany (German reunification), which made von Weizsäcker the first democratically legitimized head of state of Germany as a whole since Reich President Paul von Hindenburg had died in office on 2 August 1934.
He is considered the most popular of Germany's presidents, held in high regard particularly for his impartiality.
His demeanor often saw him at odds with his party colleagues, particularly longtime Chancellor Helmut Kohl.
He was famous for his speeches, especially one he delivered at the 40th anniversary of the end of the Second World War in Europe on 8 May 1985.
Upon his death, his life and political work were widely praised, with The New York Times calling him "a guardian of his nation's moral conscience".
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