Axel Springer

Axel Springer

Axel Springer (May 2, 1912, Altona, Hamburg - September 22, 1985, West Berlin), was a German journalist and the founder and owner of the Axel Springer AG publishing company.

Springer was born as Axel Cäsar Springer in Hamburg, where his father worked as publisher.

Springer's career started with the foundation of "Axel Springer GmbH" in Hamburg in 1947. He published the "Hamburger Abendblatt" newspaper, followed by some magazines, including the popular radio and TV programme magazine "Hör zu". In 1952, Springer started the publication of the tabloid "Bild", becoming the daily newspaper for millions in Germany and one important influence on public opinion.

He went on to launch and acquire a string of papers and magazines characterised by entertainment and conservative politics. The Axel Springer Verlag today is one of the major magazine and newspaper publishers in Germany with over 180 newspapers and magazines in circulation: 23.7% of the German market in 1999.

In the late 1960s, Springer was attacked by the leftist student movement for the political opinion pushed forward via "Bild" and the other Springer media and became a goal of their protest marches and direct actions. Springer was swift to denounce those who questioned the 'economic miracle' of the fifties and sixties. The attempted assassination of Rudi Dutschke has been connected to "Bild"'s condemnation of the protestersFact|date=April 2007.

Springer's Bild newspaper was attacked most famously in 1974's "The Lost Honour of Katharina Blum" by Heinrich Böll.

Springer died in West Berlin in 1985.

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