Mr. Schmidt remained popular, owing in no small part to the affection West Germans felt for his down-to-earth wife, Hannelore Schmidt. A biologist and amateur botanist, she eschewed ceremony in favor of promoting conservation and protecting endangered plants. Flowers in Latin America and Africa were named after her, and she wrote or co-wrote books on plants and ecology. She died in 2010 at 91.
Asked to assess his successor, Mr. Kohl, Schmidt was characteristically withering. “I think there are two or three fields in which he needs a lot of education,” he told The New York Times. Asked which ones, he answered, “International affairs, arms control and military strategy, and economics and finance.”
He was a chain smoker – the only person who was allowed to smoke on German television.
Source: The New York Times, November 10