Capital: € 1.5 million
Age: 41
Born: 07/01/1979
Country of origin: Germany
Source of wealth: Entrepreneurs, politicians
Last updated: 2022

Short introduction

Christian Lindner (born January 7, 1979 in Wuppertal) is a German politician, member of the state parliament of North Rhine-Westphalia and chairman of the FDP.

Early life

Christian Lindner was born in Wuppertal. His father Wolfgang Lindner teaches mathematics and computer science at the Wermelskirchen grammar school. After graduating from high school in 1998 and completing his civilian service, he studied political science at the University of Bonn from 1999 to 2006.

After eleven semesters, he received his Master of Arts (MA). The main topic of his master thesis was: “Tax competition and income distribution. Can a financial constitution be reformed? “In 2006 he started writing a dissertation under the direction of Professor of Political Science Frank Decker, which he still has not finished due to his political activities.

During his studies, Lindner served as a reserve officer in the Air Force. In 2002 he was awarded the rank of lieutenant in the reserve. In 2008 he was a liaison officer for the air force of the ground command in Düsseldorf and since September 2011 he has been a reserve captain.


Lindner joined the FDP in 1995. He has been a member of the FDP board in North Rhine-Westphalia since 1998 and became general secretary in 2004 (until February 2010). In the state election in May 2000, the 21-year-old Lindner was elected the youngest member in the history of the state parliament. First he was “Spokesman for Family and Integration” and then from 2005 to 2009 Deputy Chairman of the FDP Group in Parliament and Spokesman for Innovation, Science and Technology. In 2007 he also became a member of the FDP Executive Council at the federal level.

Lindner has been a member of the German Bundestag since 2009. In the negotiations to form a coalition government after the 2009 federal elections, he was part of the FDP delegation in the Working Group on Family, Immigration and Cultural Integration under the leadership of Maria Bemer and Hans-Joachim Otto. From December 2009 until his unexpected resignation in December 2011, Lindner was also general secretary of the FDP at federal level under the leadership of party leader Philipp Rösler. His resignation was caused by a forced internal vote by the party.

Lindner was later elected chairman of the FDP in North Rhine-Westphalia before the state elections in 2012 and replaced Daniel Bar. In the elections, the FDP received 8.6 percent of the vote, exceeding all expectations. After the party won the election, he was elected chairman of the FDP parliamentary group in the state parliament of North Rhine-Westphalia and succeeded Gerhard Papke on May 15, 2012 in this office. After the resignation of chairman Philipp Rösler after the 2013 federal election, Linder was elected as the new chairman of the FDP, where the FDP was unable to overcome the 5% hurdle for the Bundestag for the first time since 1949.

In the run-up to the 2014 European elections, Lindner and Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte acted as “mediators” between Olli Rehn and Guy Verhofstadt in the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe with candidates for the Presidency of the European Commission. Together they agreed with Verhrfstad to run ALDE campaigns to succeed Jose Manuel Barroso. At that time, Linder was widely known as a fellow in Rena.

Lindner was an FDP delegate to the federal assembly for the election of the German president in 2017, where he supported the government candidate Frank-Walter Steinmeier. In the same year he led his party’s successful election campaign in the state election in North Rhine-Westphalia, which brought the FDP back into the state parliament. Linder himself decided not to take up an office in the new government.

Career highlights

Lindner’s passionate reactions and interjections, the defense of entrepreneurs and the start-up culture made it onto the front pages of newspapers in early 2015 and became one of the most viewed political issues of the time. Before the state parliament in North Rhine-Westphalia, Lindner spoke about the importance of entrepreneurship and how failed entrepreneurs deserve a second chance when a social democratic member asked the audience: “[Failure] is something in which you have experience.” A reference to an Internet company co-founded by Lindner that failed after the dotcom bubble burst in the early 2000s. Lindner replied with a two and a half minute tirade. “If you succeed, you end up in the sights of the Social Democratic redistribution machinery, and if you fail, you can be sure of ridicule,” he replied, pointing out that this member prefers a secure job. He’d been doing nonprofit his whole life instead of daring to start a company.

Image, the daily newspaper with the highest circulation in Germany, praised Lindner on its front page. The Berlin daily Tagesspiegel said that the chimpanzee offers a welcome contrast to the “continuing fog of alternative Merkelism” that characterized the debate in the Bundestag.

Shortly after the 2017 elections, Lindner ruled out new debt to manage the balancing act between reducing income taxes and increasing investment in digital infrastructure. He criticized the outgoing finance minister Wolfgang Schäuble for not being tough enough on Greece and for not lowering income taxes for middle-class workers.

In 2011 Lindner married the journalist Dagmar Rosenfeld; they had started dating in 2009. On April 19, 2018, they announced their separation. In 2018, he started meeting journalist Franca Lehfeldt.


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