Martin Schulz was born on 20 December 1955 and grew up in Hehlrath Germany, close to the German-Dutch-Belgian borders. After high school he decided to try to make a living out of his passion for books and he did an apprenticeship as a bookseller. In 1982 he opened his own bookstore in Würselen, which he successfully ran for 12 years.
Joining the Social Democratic Party of Germany at the age of 19, he started out his political career. Aged 31, he was elected as the youngest mayor of North Rhine-Westphalia, a post he held for 11 years.
Since 1994, Martin Schulz is a Member of the European Parliament and has served in a number of committees, first serving on the sub-committee on Human Rights and then on the Committee on Civil Liberties and Home Affairs. He led the SPD MEPs from 2000 and was subsequently elected Vice-Chair of the Socialist MEPs.
In 2004 he was elected group leader of the second largest group in the European Parliament. As leader of the Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament, Martin Schulz campaigned for social justice, promoting jobs and growth, reforming financial markets, fighting climate change, championing equality and creating a stronger and more democratic Europe.
Martin Schulz was elected President of the European Parliament on 17 January 2012 for a mandate of two and half years with 387 votes. On 1 July 2014 he was re-elected President with 409 votes, becoming the first President in the history of the European Parliament to be re-elected for a second term.
He is married with two children, and his hobbies include reading, history and football. Among his favourite books is "the Leopard" by Tomasi di Lampedusa and all books of Eric Hobsbawm.
On 14 May 2015 he was awarded the International Charlemagne Prize of Aachen, honouring an “outstanding mentor of a united Europe who has earned important and lasting merits for his efforts towards a strengthening of parliament, parliamentarianism, and democratic legitimation in the EU."
- Apprentice bookseller (1975-1977).
- Worked in various bookshops and publishing houses (1977-1982).
- Bookshop proprietor (1982-1994).
- Member, SPD Bureau and Federal Executive (since 1999).
- SPD Representative for EU Relations (since 2009).
- Municipal councillor, Würselen (since 1984).
- Mayor of Würselen (1987-1998).
- Member of the European Parliament (since 1994).
- Socialist Group coordinator, Subcommittee on Human Rights (1994-1996).
- Socialist Group coordinator, Committee on Civil Liberties and Home Affairs (1996-2000).
- Chairman, SPD Group, European Parliament (2000-2004).
- First Vice-Chairman, Socialist Group (2002-2004).
- Chairman Socialist Group (2004-2009).
- Chairman S&D Group (since 2009).
- President of the European Parliament (since January 2012).